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Pebbles to Pathways

One of the keys to building a successful future is appreciating the fact that we each have a history that has molded us, causing us to exist as the individuals we are today. Without the broken roads, lost deals, sorrowful times, and storms, we may not have had the opportunities for arrival, success, and happiness that we celebrate, as the person each of us has become. We get hurt, and we heal. At one time or another (and sometimes more often than not), we trip over our ignorance and scrape a knee, bruise an ego, or tarnish a reputation. These are just facts of life.

If you're reading the print version of this magazine that you received in your mailbox, then you live in Cherokee County. My brother and I were born and raised in rural central Cherokee on Route 8/Toonigh when it was just a gravel road. We were blessed to have been brought up by parents who did the best they could to develop two scrappy boys into fine men. They taught us to be thrifty with our goods and our time, to keep our surplus in savings for the future, and to not compare ourselves to others nor try to keep up. We learned that the paths we build are our own, laid one stone at a time.

Our paths travel in one direction — all the hard bumps, the times where we occasionally get lost, and the annoying cracks and puddles will fall behind us, as a greater plan unfolds.

The first thing is to realize where we find ourselves falling short and correct the behavior. I screw up my fair share, and I sometimes get bonus points for "stupid Jack tricks," often joking about how I "just get used to it." Yes, when things get all "Jacked up" for me, it's literal rather than a figure of speech, but this story is mine.

Eventually, most of our major fumbles, trials, and even those "stupid 'you' tricks" end up not really being such a big deal. We learn to overcome our errors, deal with our shortcomings, and change our ways. It's always a good time to give yourself some grace, say a little prayer, and be thankful. Every annoying pebble in your shoe finds a home along your way, building a greater path to a better you. 

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