Friday, May 8, 2009

On the Tunney Side of the Street, #228, May 11, 2009

A recent television special detailed the earthquake that virtually destroyed Chengdu’s Sichuan province brought this to mind: “’Cause I’m the hall monitor,” said 9-year old Lin Hao, the Chinese schoolboy who marched in the 2008 Opening Ceremonies of the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing, as the co-leader with China’s Flag Bearer, 7”6’ Yao Ming. Yao Ming, of course, you know as the Houston Rockets NBA star, was playing in the Olympic Games for his native country China.

Lin Hao, perhaps, is a name you may never know. When that earthquake hit Chengdu’s Sichuan Province, China, on May 12, 2008, killing 70,000+ people, Lin Hao was among those buried beneath the rubble, yet survived. Lin Hao had pulled a classmate out of the rubble, then ran back in to rescue another, when he was caught in the tumbling walls. Alive when the rescuers got to him, Lin Hao was asked “Why did you go back into that building that was crumbling?” Here is 9-year old Lin Hao’s response: “’CAUSE I’M THE HALL MONITOR!” You may call it responsibility, or leadership or determination. Whatever you call it, please put “HERO” next to Lin Hao’s name! Extraordinary!

The spectacular opening of the 29th Olympic Games was the finest I have ever witnessed. The precision and splendor of that opening was exceeded only by the people who directed and performed in it. It was easy to be convinced that the light show, the drumming sequence and especially the ‘cube’ happening was controlled solely by electronics. I was delightfully surprised when the performers beneath those cubes popped their heads up at the conclusion. Extraordinary!

During an NBC interview with Zhang Yimou, who directed the opening ceremonies, Yimou said “We (meaning every ‘cube’ performer) worked for 4 months - 8 hours a day - and we never got it perfect – until that opening night performance.” Determination and a “never-give-up” attitude, coupled with TEAMWORK, gave the world China’s extraordinary best.

Some critics knocked the Chinese performers as “sterile” and lacking passion. I disagree. When you witness perfection, it may appear “sterile” and “passionless,” but what one often misses is the extraordinary effort to achieve perfection. Extraordinary performances given by ordinary people giving extra effort to perform the extraordinary!

Will you give your extra effort to every task you have in order to achieve the extraordinary?

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