Fall is here and where I live, it’s absolutely stunning with all the reds, oranges and browns blending in ever so perfectly with the greenery. One of my favorite parts of driving to work is that I am panoramically surrounded by the beauty of fall. I constantly find myself trying to take mental pictures of the view outside my window and sometimes in an ever-so-safe way, attempting to grab a photo along my drive. I know it may sound cheesy, but the view continues to take my breath away.
I was driving in to work today when I noticed a patch of trees that had one brightly colored tree in the midst of sheer greenness. It seemed as if this little tree had decided to change its leaves before the rest of the colony of trees around them. It got me thinking about how we’re all kind of like this colony of trees. We try to adapt to our surroundings, fit in with the people we’re around and hope that we don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Let’s be honest, no one likes change. We weren’t built to accept change well and when things start to get shaken up, we panic. We complain, we whine, we fight whatever forces we can to stop the inevitable. Change scares us. And because we hate change, we’re even less likely to be the person initiating it.
I’ve read about a lot of great men and women in history. Ones that started revolutions, ended wars, created gateways and helped pave the way for better lives for people they will never meet. All of these people came from different places around the world, they didn’t drink the same water/punch or get attend the same university. No, all of them had a stirring inside their heart that asked the question, “Why not, me?”
Sometimes I feel like a coward. I hear stories that break my heart or have dreams to love extravagantly and I find myself more often than not, cowering in the comforts of my couch watching television. In the last month I’ve started saying to people “real men seize moments” and as I chanted this phrase in different situations I began to realize that when the opportunity presents itself, I don’t seize many moments.
There’s always going to be a story that inspires us. Fearless people seize moments and face change head on. They’re no different from you and me. Who says we can’t be a part of something great? Who says we can’t be the one to instigate change? I mean, why not?
Picture this orange tree standing tall surrounded by a bunch of green trees. When you drive past, you don’t gasp in the beauty of all the green trees but of the single one that looks different from the rest. It sticks out, but you don’t pity it. It doesn’t look like everything else, yet you think it’s the most beautiful one in the group.
I hope you’re following me on this (and yes, what I’m saying is we can all learn a little something from the fall trees). If you’re familiar with nature, this sea of trees won’t stay green for long. Soon, their leaves are going to change too and before you know it, you won’t be able to recognize the first from the last. You see, change is contagious.
Whatever it is that is tugging on your heart, go for it. Why not? People might think you’re crazy or laugh at how ridiculous you look, but when you choose to take some risks and change your leaves to a different color, the ignorance and petty comments of people around you stop to matter. And don’t be surprised when you attempt to stand out and be a little different that you’ll look around and see that people are excited to change right along with you. So be brave. Be fearless. Be a leader. Let yourself stand out. Seize your moments.