Today many thousands of people will be in downtown Vancouver.
The Canucks play the Washington Capitals for the only time this season and then steps away the BC Lions battle Edmonton for first place in the Western Division of the CFL. (I hope you feel all caught up on the sports scene now)
So as the estimated crowd of 60,000+ rushes to both venues at the same time tonight many thousands will pause at the new Terry Fox plaza, see the new statues and many will even stop to take a picture.
There is a hidden gem however at the plaza that many will miss.
Along the wall, just across from the mega outdoor screen at BC Place, are two plaques. I had a chance to read them a few weeks ago and they really had an impact.
The first plaque provides some great background on Terry. You have to remember, this young man was only a month away from 23 years old when he died. Very young…but what an impact he had and continues to have.
What I loved about the first plaque was the story of Terry’s simple and focused goal. To raise one dollar for every Canadian…24 million at that time. Clear, concise and measurable. We can all learn from that whether it is business or personal. Loved it.
It was the second plaque however that really got me thinking and it hasn’t stopped.
The wording, written by the artist who designed the new statues, starts:
On a fundamental level, Terry’s life makes us ask, ‘What if?’….if he’d changed his mind and never run, he might have wondered ‘what if’ for the rest of his life. The world would have continued spinning, the weather would be the same. Everything would be the same, yet nothing would be the same. The way we view life and death and courage and strength wouldn’t be the same.
Sometimes we feel like we’re just one more person here on earth. Why does anything matter? Why do any of us bother going on? But the fact is we do go on and all of us matter, and maybe just maybe, if we follow Terry’s example of choosing the more difficult choice our lives take on meaning greater than we might ever have dared hope.
Douglas Coupland, September 2011
The last paragraph really struck me.
If we’ve learned one lesson again and again these past 19 months is that we only control our next decision…our next choice.
I believe that’s how Terry lived his life.
Deciding each day, one day at a time, to run.
And when he couldn’t run…to fight.
And when he could no longer fight…to inspire.
And now Terry’s dream is lived in millions.
It’s incredibly inspiring and it all comes down to a goal and choices…and as Mr. Coupland has so eloquently stated, ‘…and maybe just maybe, if we follow Terry’s example of choosing the more difficult choice our lives take on meaning greater than we might ever have dared hope.’
If you take in the games today or are downtown anytime, you’ll want to take 5 extra minutes to learn more about this BC legend and get inspired. It’s truly amazing.
Talk about Be The Best!