I think it’s something in the water.
In my life, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to know people who are larger than life. By this, I mean people who have been on TV in one form or another, inspiring others in certain areas or even providing entertainment to others.
Some of these people I went to school with. Maybe I wasn’t the best of friends with them, but I knew them and they knew me. Sometimes we shared the same interests. But all together, something in the water must have made us work as hard as we do.
I don’t know if it is where I work, or New Zealand as a whole, but I seem to be continually surprised at the amount of people who have no motivation or drive to help themselves, let alone other people. These people scrape by in life. I wonder what people like this think on their death bed. Do they think they’ve wasted their lives? Or are they just glad to get over the pain and suffering and perhaps evolve to another, higher, more enlightened plane?
I’m not saying I’m famous or I’ll be anything other than, if I’m lucky, a footnote in history. Somewhere, buried deep in some obscure book, it might say — again, if I’m lucky — Scott Fack and his partner Noel Turner fought against the New Zealand government for equality in immigration for gay and lesbian couples and won. Small victory, a bit hollow in the fact that no one really thanked either Noel or I for putting our necks on the line (although I do have to say that the gay media in New Zealand was great in supporting us and instigating the issue, and I did contact them all by email or phone to say thank you), but I’ve found as I get older that you and God know what your successes are and how you helped others, and I’m happy to let sleeping dogs lie. (As a side-note, I was paranoid for speaking out, at the time, that my permanent residency application would be denied for being so vocal about the issue. It never materialized that way.)
And so, I contacted someone I knew at high school this week who, I found out (this week) is on a TV programme currently screening in the US. He saw his goal. He worked hard for it. He’s on the television (which, whether he loses or wins, still helps him out to reach his goal) and I figure that has to be good for him and his goal.
I wasn’t being shallow or a groupie when I wished him luck, and I’ve never been like that. I honestly wish him — and anyone in a circumstance like that — the best of luck. Because I strongly believe if you work hard and have a goal in sight, you need as much encouragement as possible.
And going back to New Zealand: I’ve never really seen the level of apathy that I’ve seen as through work with some students. I shouldn’t even say students, probably prospective students would be the correct term. These people kinda want to have a better life for themselves but kinda don’t want to work hard for it. “I need to do what to get in?” As Noel said, “If they can’t be bothered meeting the entry criteria, they won’t be bothered doing the study or the homework.” But why should people think that the good life should be handed to them on a silver platter?
And this is where the “Something in the Water” comes in.
Of those people I know who have made it, mostly from back in the US, all of them have had to work for it. These people — and those I know who work hard in their lives and don’t get thanked so publicly as those on TV or whatever — deserve to do well. There was something in the water when they were born or raised. They were made of the same stuff as I was.
And, to be honest, they are my heroes and my idols. Whenever I think, “Hell, why be extraordinary when, in this country, okay will just suffice,” my mind turns to these people who have tried hard, these heroes and idols, and it pushes me to work hard.
Some people sit back on their couches and flip through the channels on the TV, wishing they were as popular or famous as the people on the TV. So why sit back? Why not do something about it?
As Noel says, “How old will you be if you didn’t try? Now how old will you be if you do?” Why not challenge yourself, push yourself to be the best you can be so, on your deathbed, you can smile and think, “Wow. What a ride.”
Maybe there’s something in the water where you live too.