This article is not about coffee or caffeine or its ability to give us the jolt that we need to make it through the day, but it is rather about Joe, a man who regularly raises up people just as a cup of Joe can.
The amazing thing about Joe though is that he inspires without realizing that he is an inspiration. In his mind he is just being Joe, but to the people around him he is a role model.
I know Joe because he is in my karate class. That fact might not be very notable except for the fact that Joe has quite a few health issues including the fact that he only has one lung. His sister told us that he has almost died several times & each time she sees him, she feels as if it’s Christmas because she is so glad that he is alive.
Our karate class is pretty tough. There is a lot of conditioning involved & those of us who have two lungs sometimes have a hard time making it through class. Joe sometimes has to stop to catch his breath, but then he is right back in the fray.
Two things strike me about this part of Joe’s situation; with all of his health concerns he could have become a coach potato & no-one would have criticized him. If he was going to exercise, he could have picked walking or something with a controllable pace, but Joe picked a sport where he would be pushed to the limit almost every time he stepped on the mat.
The second thing that I reflect on is that having picked karate, Joe could use his health problems as a way to take it easy in class, but instead he gives 100% every time. I consider him a formidable opponent.
Joe not only pushes himself physically, he also is an active participant in the community & the author of several books. If Joe is not in karate class, we know he is off to a book signing to promote his latest book.
Joe has had several injuries lately, but he still comes to class & watches to make sure that when he comes back, because of course he will, he doesn’t want to have missed anything.
There is a determination & an energy in Joe that sends the message to never give up & to squeeze every bit out of life while enjoying both what you do & the people with whom you are experiencing it.
Here is what I would imagine Joe would use as the ten guiding principles to life:
- Attack life with a steely determination & never accept less than the best that you can exact
- Never give up on anything or anyone. All things are possible & the word cannot should be removed from the dictionary
- Don’t miss out. Take every opportunity to live life fully
- Have a sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine
- Don’t limit yourself or put restrictions on your abilities. Stretch the boundaries & excel in more than one area
- Give whatever you are doing all your attention & all your effort. Be fully present wherever you are instead of thinking of other tasks
- Don’t make excuses
- Serve others & lift them up
- Be humble & grateful
- Enjoy the people around you
Jen Bonn is a free lance writer & teacher from Atlanta, Ga. She enjoys writing about a variety of subjects & she recently published a book of teaching tips called Stay Away From The Girl’s Bathroom & Other Teaching Tips. This book is available from www.deedspublishing.com for $12.95. She is passionate about running, karate, reading & writing. She lives in Atlanta with her husb&, three children & a variety of animals. Life is never dull around her house!