A NEW LEARNING
We have a choice of numerous lenses with which to view this day. Outlooks change and readjust. Unlike yesterday, today I recognize my zeal for accomplishment with respect to establishing recognition as a good artist. Today I have no hesitation to self promote. My children and grandchildren were at our home last evening for dinner and there was love around the table and in our home. A challenge of sorts was discussed among the adults. Would all the adults in our family prepare for a five kilometre run being held in January 2009? That’s two and one half months from now. I have been slack lately. If it’s raining in the morning it’s my excuse for not going for my 2 K walk. But yesterday’s challenge was all I need to ignite my desire. Contest awakens my resolve. It’s inexplicable. It’s my wiring. I have to train to run 5 Ks.
I have derived some inspiration reading Sir Edmund Hillary’s tribute material. He died at age 88 on January 11, 2008. Hillary’s celebrity followed the May 29, 1953 ascent of Mount Everest by Hillary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norga, the first climbers known to stand at the top of the world. In the last 50 years, 10,000 men and women have tried to climb Everest. About 1,200 have succeeded and about 200 have died. What made the man stand tall was what he did with the rest of his life.
What did he do? He never forgot Nepal. Without flourish or compensation he poured energy and resources into Nepal through the Himalayan Trust that he founded in 1962. He funded and helped build hospitals health clinics, airfields and schools. He raised funds for higher education for Sherpa families, and helped set up reforestation programs in the impoverished country. About $250,000 a year was raised by the charity for projects in Nepal. Hillary's commitment to Nepal took him back more than 120 times, last visiting in 2007. It was on a visit to Nepal that his first wife, Louise, 43, and 16-year-old daughter Belinda died in a light plane crash March 31, 1975.
On 6 1953 he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a member of the Order of New Zealand in 1987 and a Knight of the Order of the Garter on April 22 1995. He was also awarded the Polar Medal for his Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition. In 1992 Hillary appeared on the updated New Zealand $5 note. Various streets, schools and organizations around New Zealand and abroad are named after him. A few examples are Hillary College (Otara), Edmund Hillary Primary School (Papakura) and the Hillary Commission (now SPARC).
He parlayed an ordinary life into a truly extraordinary one and in the process demonstrated that greatness is possible for any of us. He wrote in his autobiography, “I discovered that even the mediocre can have adventures and even the fearful can achieve." In an interview he commented that his life had been "a constant effort to illustrate how a very mediocre person with very mediocre talents which I have can create quite a lot if they really drive themselves."