One of my favorite times is The Quest Project® graduation! It’s a special night for me when I get to honor the work of the young men that have completed The Quest Project® 10 week program.
Speak To Us!
Over the years I have had many guest speakers attend to offer a story, a life experience and piece of encouragement to these young men. One of my favorite guest speakers is a retired professor and friend that tells the following story. I hope you find the same inspiration from this story that I do!
“Years ago when Australia was first being settled, two young brothers were caught stealing sheep. Typically cattle and sheep rustlers were hanged in those days. Because the boys were so young, instead of being killed, they were branded on their foreheads with the letters “ST” for sheep thief.
One brother moved out of town in embarrassment and shame and in a few years he died alone, an outcast, his life amounting to nothing. He’d never been able to come to terms with his failure.
The other brother stayed in the town, in spite of his shame and guilt, and through the years he somehow regained the respect of the people there. It wasn’t easy to live down something like that, but he did it. And he did it well. Everybody in town came to respect that revered old man. In fact years later a visitor wandered through town and asked what the letters on the forehead meant after he’d met the well-loved old man in the town’s pub.
The young man he spoke to said, “You know, I never thought about it. Those letters have been there as long as I can remember.” “I guess it stands for saint!” The “ST” for sheep thief had through the years become the “ST” for saint.
That man had discovered the freedom to fail, and grow through it, and become a better man in the process.
That’s all your family and friends expect of you today. Not to be perfect. Not to get to the point of never making mistakes. But to know how to handle failure when it comes. To claim it as your own, to walk through it and keep going.
You’re men now. And that’s what men do!
God bless you.”
So thank you to BL, my friend and colleague for such a great story! I still tell this story at graduation as it holds so much meaning and truth. I hope you will remember this story and share it with your son.
At the end of the day, what a great message; we all make mistakes – it’s what you do about it that matters most.
Want to share a story of a “mistake” that had a positive outcome? I’d like to hear it. Please share in the comments section below.