Monday, October 4, 2010

Turning Points

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve got to where I am today, and where I’m going to be tomorrow. This led me to think about everything I had changed or kept the same, and those things that were out of my control. Irwin Edman said,
“Life is always at some turning point.”
I’ve experienced these turning points. The good and the bad. They’ve made me the person who I am today. The decisions I have made and those that have been made for me.

The sacrifices and decisions made for me before my birth by my grandparents and parents effected my life hugely. After all, if they hadn’t completed a series of events, a series of their own turning points, I may not even be sitting here typing this.

When a mother suffering from postpartum depression is able to comfort and share a moment with her child, which takes her out of the depression, a magical turning point occurs, maybe not for the world but for her and her family and friends.

When an adult takes their eyes off a child for even 10 seconds by a road, a number of events can happen to that child. The child could be fine, they could be abducted, they could try to cross the road or they could get hit by a motorist. Unfortunately in recent times the thought of leaving a child unattended, even briefly, can have devastating consequences. Any of those outcomes provides a turning point, for both the child and the adult.

In the final 20 seconds of a football match, where the ball is thrown, by the opposition, into the end zone in the hopes of a game winning touchdown. The amount of people holding their breaths. Some hoping it’s caught. Others hoping it’s incomplete. Whichever the result, it’s a turning point to those people. To their teams, they have to change the way they play. To their pocket, they may have bet on the game. To their faith, everyone needs hope now and again that their team is trying hard for them. When that ball is intercepted, huge turning point. People wonder what went wrong, and what went right.

When election time rolls round politicians will constantly ask the people of their country to vote for change, to vote for something different, for something that has the potential to be better - whether it ends up that way is another matter all together. A turning point nonetheless.

9/11. A massive turning point in recent times. There were lives lost. Tighter measures in security were enforced. People were more cautious. They decided not to fly. The economy was hit. Countries decided they had to fight back, and with those decisions, people’s lives changed. After this there was a war. Just or not. It was still a war. There were more lives lost. This day in history is very much a current reality for some people. As I write this there are still terror threats posed on capital cities, and places of attraction.

With technology, change and evolution happens regularly, it’s almost expected. Fibre optic internet connections, smartphones, internet banking, SatNav, quicker flights and many other things I could name – the list is endless. All of which came about because someone was thinking too hard to themselves and it hit them. That was their turning point, and as a result a turning point for each of us. All of which I’m personally grateful for as without the internet I would spend more time reading books to do my research and more money trying to keep in contact with my friends. I might not have even been able to meet half the people I have met which is really down to social networking and being able to set up events with friends online.

Relationships. Parent-Child. Husband-Wife. Boyfriend-Girlfriend. Brother-Sister. Aunt-Nephew. Uncle-Niece. Best friends. Enemies. So many relationships in daily life. Constantly changing and evolving. When your best friend moves away, so you don’t talk as much, but when you do talk everything’s the same. In a way that’s a turning point. Realising your friendship is strong enough to withstand distance. Or the opposite, realising it can’t. When your best friend helps your boyfriend cheat on you, another turning point. Makes you realise who your friends are and who you can trust. When your aunt says she’ll do you a favour, but never does. Another turning point. Being let down. Realising you can’t rely on her. When your uncle steps in for your dad at your wedding and gives you away. A turning point. Makes you feel less alone and loved. When your boyfriend/husband/wife/girlfriend goes that extra mile for you, time and time again. Turning point. Reminds you that you’ve made the right choice and the person you’re with is a keeper. When your best friend becomes your enemy and your enemy becomes your best friend. Huge turning point. Reminds you of irony.

In the end, I think of the turning points in my life and come to one conclusion. Change is inevitable. The decisions we make can cause a minuscule or ginormous turning point in our lives and those around us, so be smart about it.

Max Lerner said it best:
“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.”

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