by Dave Markwell

Every day, in every room, hands are raised. These hands climb from the uncertain pockets or desk tops to do the difficult, but important things. While many secure their sweaty palms firmly in place while deliberately avoiding eye contact with the challenges we face, a special few raise their hands and say, “I’ll do it.” These people are our heroes.

Many years ago when my now teenage son was in kindergarten, I stood at the end of the breezeway waiting for him to leave his classroom at the end of his school day. When the bell rang and doors opened, kids scurried down the path, eager to move on to their afternoon activities. During this melee, a little girl dropped her notebook and her papers scattered across the concrete. While the other kids laughed or made a game out of jumping over her disaster, I saw my little son’s big head strolling then stopping. He took off his back pack and began picking up papers. He “raised his hand” to help.

In this moment, I understood that for all the ways that this boy would drive me crazy, he was going to be ok. His character was strong and with his hand in the air, he would change the world. I was and remain proud. And his hand is still in the air.
Raising our hands is scary. We risk our peace and security and comfort. We become “responsible” for something. We stake our time and effort and reputations on outcomes that we have limited degrees of control over. Yet, we still try. The courageous and creative minds of our innovators and educators raise their hands and think and serve and give what they have to create a better world. We can all do this.

Life is a complicated business. Many challenges exist. We have projects to do and problems to solve. And we need sharp minds and big hearts to do this. This mission is a collective one and we need more hands raised. “All of us is smarter than any of us.” We are better working together with uniquely fresh ideas and perspectives as we face our issues. We all have these things. And now is the time to use them. All of us have hands and hearts. Worthy of note is the fact that the beautiful consequence of raising our hands is that we elevate our hearts, too…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland Fitness]

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