At the Presidential Inauguration of our 46th President, Joe Biden, a young woman took the stage and in doing so she took our hearts with her words. Amanda Gorman, at the age of 27 is the youngest poet to deliver her work at a presidential inauguration.
On Jan. 21, 2021, with her poem, entitled “The Hill We Climb,” she reminded us that despite the turmoil from previous years that collectively and individually we could and would succeed if we kept climbing.
Her poem was a glance of past struggle, the heart-pounding excitement of the present, and the hope that beckons us to the future.
As I speak to people of all ages about their goals and dreams, many times the pain of their past arises in the conversation. They talk about opportunities missed or thwarted due to their unwillingness to seize the moment or the people who are no longer in their lives, who will never get to stand with them at their graduation or on their wedding day.
At those moments, I am reminded that we all have hills to climb. For some, they have to climb them while carrying their entire families or communities on their backs. For others they are standing on the shoulders of mentors, parents and grandparents as they climb to the top.
Nonetheless, we all have hills to climb.
Sadly, some people never attempt to climb the hill to their personal success on their own. Fear and doubt cement their feet to the ground and they just can’t seem to muster the energy to lift their bodies. It’s not that they’re unconcerned about their journey, they may not know what to do when they get there, so they delay the “getting there.”
The one thing I know for sure is that no one climbs alone. We may not notice the person on the other side of the hill climbing or it may seem like they are not climbing at all, but we all have hills to climb.
As you climb your hill, consider a few things on your journey:
1. Your hill is your hill – so climb it with integrity and gratitude for the path before you. Face it with focus and determination.
2. No matter how high or rocky the hill may be, keep climbing. It may take you longer that someone else and that’s ok, just keep climbing.
3. Gather all of the supplies you may need before you start, but be mindful that you’ll discover that you need more resources along the way.
4. When you get to the top, reach to help someone else. Whether you realize or not, someone helped you.