At the time of its writing, this article is on the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9-11. How fitting it is for this article to be written on this day when it truly reflects the vital ingredient, the one thing that determines everything else in life. That one thing is the FOUNDATION we establish our lives on and the FOUNDATION that forms us as human beings.
They say in the construction of homes, a dwelling is only as strong as the foundation it’s built on. One World Trade Center, or 1 WTC, is built on a base that is 200 ft x 200 ft, and the footprint has a depth of about 110 ft. The tower has a height of 1368 ft, and once the spire was added, it tops out at 1776 feet(worth noting the year of the signing of the Declaration of Independence). They poured 400 cubic yards of concrete(that’s 80,800 gallons in case you are like me and not really into math calculations), and there are a total of five floors underground totaling almost 55,000 square feet of retail space. Needless to say, if there was ever a FOUNDATION that needed to be strong, it was this one with the complexity that this building had been built with. It is that same complexity, however, that we build our own lives on.
At the age of six or seven, I began a habit of lying about everything. If you asked me what color the sky was I’d tell you brown when it was really blue. My mother and father got tired of me telling these “little white lies” so to speak and it was time to stop. Now, my father, well, he is 6’6 and back in the day he looked like he could play a defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers(that’s right, I’m from PA and I said it, I’m a Steelers fan…lololol)! He could simply whistle for us in a store and we knew it was time to go. When you’re only 6 or 7 and you look up at your 6’6 defensive back looking father, he looks like a giant and a man you don’t want to be spanked by. One afternoon after coming home from school, my mom asked me a question and I obviously gave her an answer that wasn’t true. After having enough, she sent me to my room and told me my father would handle it when he got home.
The giant enters my room, hand hidden behind his back, and as he tells it, the look on my face was one of holy terror! He proceeds to sit on my bed and convey the importance of telling the truth ALWAYS and never telling a lie. After he was through, and with the sweat dripping from my head(ok ok almost), he pulls his hand from around his back to reveal what would appear to be an empty hand, but in actuality, it was a hand filled with a brick for my foundation of life. That day left me a changed boy, a boy that would one day turn into a man that values truth and honesty so much that he isn’t willing to forsake anything for it.
The “Fire Yourself” movement may require you to remove a few bricks in your foundation and replace them with new ones, ones that will allow you to stand strong and be proud of who you are and what you stand for. It is a word that we will come back to time and time again because it is so vitally important. It makes up who we are and where we go in life, without compromise. Like 1 WTC, it determines the height we can rise to, so the deeper and stronger the foundation, the higher we can rise!