Big living comes in all shapes and sizes. It is not the rich or the famous that necessarily are living large lives. It is everyday, average people who are choosing to live their lives extraordinary. It is women and men who decide they are not going to coast. They are going to learn, explore, accomplish and contribute all they can while they are living this beautiful life they have been given.
One such Big Living person is my friend, Danny. Danny would definitely be considered middle-aged. He has been an Engineering Technician at Coca-Cola for over 20 years. He is married and has four grown children. He served in the Navy. He likes to hunt, smoke cigars and visit the best hamburger establishments in Atlanta. He attends church, where he works with the media team, he keeps up with sports, and is a serious reader of all kinds of literature. He is a fun guy to hang out with. But, there is so much more to his story.
What puts him in the Big Life category to me is this. In May, 2016, my 57 year old friend, Danny, proudly walked with his class in graduation exercises and received his Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Organizational Leadership. He graduated summa cum laude.
Danny began his post high school part-time education way back in 1999. He picked up a certificate in Information Technology and an Associates Degree in Electronics from Southern Crescent Technical College but had never finished his baccalaureate.
In 2013, he decided he needed to finish what he started. He began an accelerated program at Mercer University which was considered a full-time school schedule, but designed to work with his full-time work schedule. For two years Danny took two classes per semester. Between class attendance and assignments, he worked on his degree six out of seven days a week. He took Sundays off for church and family time. This was brutal, but he persevered and he finished.
Why did he do it? Danny’s desire has always been to learn, to grow, to become more skilled, and become more effective in all that he seeks to do. He didn’t let growing older detour him from his dream. How about you? Are there studies you’ve been putting off? Adventures you know you are supposed to take? Mountains you are supposed to climb? Rivers you are supposed to cross? It hit me yesterday that Danny could be a poster child for Big Living. He just keeps looking for ways to grow as a human being into the best man he can be. May his tribe continue to increase.