If you want to learn, school is always in session.
I was reminded of that last Saturday. I was in Cannelton, Indiana at the Heritage Festival — a typical quaint old small-town street festival complete with blacksmithing, quilting,candle-making, a petting zoo, home-made ice cream, barbeque and a Wild West shootout. I had just finished one of a dozen live on-air reports when I noticed a mom and her 9-yr-old daughter eyeballing me. So I introduced myself; turns out Mom is a big fan. The little girl — her name is Catalina — was simply precious. She was wearing a sash that read “First Runner-up” and asked her about it. “I was in the pageant and came in second” she replied. I prepared to console her. “Well, if I had been judge you would have won!” I told her. She shook her head. “I didn’t want to win” she told me. That was not the response I expected, and I asked her why. She smiled. “Because as long as I don’t win I can still be in the pageant next year!” she said, and it was apparent the kid was fairly beaming with anticipation.
We live in a world where winning is everything — to many of us it’s the only thing. But if the destination is the only thing on my mind I am going to miss out on the journey; I will always live in and for the future and never really experience now. It took a 9-yr-old kid to remind me that sometimes, winning isn’t as important as participating, and there should be as much joy in simply being here as there is in getting someplace else.