Focus. Determination. Drive. Courage.
It’s a combination of personal assets that often lead to success. Perhaps not in a way that was expected, but some successes are difficult to measure. Some successes take time to unfold.
I did not witness Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion Tour through Canada in 1986/87: I was living in the wilds of northern Alberta then, about 370 km north of Edmonton when he rolled through. But last week, I listened to many who still had vivid memories of the tour from 25 years ago. They still felt the excitement 25 years later; they still felt the inspiration to achieve.
We worry about the present generation because our lifestyle seems so sedentary these days. We worry about health, we worry about what they’re learning while sitting at the computer. I think we worry that they won’t, or don’t, have the focus, drive and determination to succeed and inspire. But that legacy is not for everyone.
In fact, if it was a common trait among us, we probably wouldn’t notice it. It’s just sometimes that someone comes along and touches us in a way we weren’t expecting. We remember those people because they’re special, even if they may beg to differ.
Hansen’s tour 25 years ago was successful on many levels: he completed it; he was greeted everywhere by supporters; everyone – at least in Canada – knows his name.
And, while it didn’t take place overnight, Canada has addressed many accessibility and disability issues in the last 25 years, which in turn has made you and I more aware of why we need wheelchair ramps and lifts, curb cuts, wider doorways and many other things that means people in wheelchairs have an easier time taking part in the same activities that pedestrians take for granted.
We can all make a difference in the lives around us, but very few people actually do. Rick Hansen is one.
Twenty-five years later, it was time to give us all a gentle reminder, because we still have a ways to go. And we’re all capable. Look around and find one thing in your community to change for the better. Then do it.
Wendy Coomber is the editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal