Friday, December 2, 2005

Endless Nights, Endless Forks In The Road: Part II

After the death of President Kennedy, the Soviets ran Nikita Khrushchev out of power and into the ground. I doubt it was entirely the death of Kennedy that caused it, but Khrushchev always believed without that connection and relationship, he had nothing to offer the Soviet Union. Khrushchev didn't just lose power, Brezhnev and Kosygin banished him from inner Moscow and took away his home. The other night when I couldn't sleep and couldn't help but think of Kennedy and Khrushchev, I made a promise to myself that I'd never let someone drive me from my passion if I held the power to stop it. I wondered today if Khrushchev ever regretted his choice to work with Kennedy rather than ignore diplomacy and directly aid the rise (and fall) of communism in the Soviet Union. I wonder if he ever felt the road he chose was the road that would defeat him, or if he just accepted the outcome as fate, destiny, or really bad luck.

All of my life I have been surrounded by a population of people that I love. I have worked in group homes for developmentally disabled adults, I have lived in those group homes, I have coached Special Olympics for years, and in my own family have always known the privilege and challenge that comes with the disabled. Currently I work for a home that I love. In the last few months I have grown to hate the bureaucracy and the tension among staff, but have never once stopped loving the residents. They are like family and I treat them like siblings.

When I went to Ohio I was on a scholarship to study special education. When I came back to Idaho and started at ISU, I was a declared special education major. It wasn't until the moment I sat in a room at the College of Education to take the Praxis test that I realized it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was the familiar road, the road I knew with my eyes closed, and the road I didn't want to take. Special education for me will always be the road not taken.

For the last week or so I have been considering a big change in my life. Though I have for many months been a history major, I have never let go of that other part of my life. I still took a job as houseparent in a group home because it never stopped being my passion. My time is split between my history and political interests at school and my work at the home. I thought, when offered a position in Boise, that now was the time to escape the business, to move on with my life, and to prove to everyone who I am and what I am capable of.

Today I realized I am right where I need to be. And I know exactly who I am. Life is too short to worry about what others may think of us. As long as we know who we are and that we're doing our very best with the life that is ours, what does it matter what anyone else thinks? I came to that conclusion after a great deal of reflecting, praying, and listening to Garth Brooks...not necessarily in that order. And of course all of that came with many sleepless nights.

I've thought often in the last few days about something Khrushchev once said following the Cuban Missile Crisis:

Someday history will tell the whole profound truth about what is happening today.

I had never taken that out of the context of the actions, some secret, taken by both the Americans and the Soviets those tense thirteen days of the crisis, until last night when I thought about how we spend so much time judging ourselves and others, wondering if the road we chose was the road we were meant to or if we would regret it one day. The most unlikely of people, a former Soviet premier who single-handedly could have brought about a nuclear holocaust, convinced me that it isn't worth beating ourselves up over, for the future will tell us if the roads we chose today were the right ones.


Anonymous said...

Didn't Garth sing about some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers?

Tara A. Rowe said...

Yes. Just as often as unanswered prayers are blessings, the answer must, at times, be no.