Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What We Can All Learn From Ken Bone

All I wanted was to fold our towels and washcloths alone upstairs in our bedroom, put them away in the bathroom, and avoid any heated argument. 

It didn't work. 

My plan to avoid the presidential debate was foiled when I carried the full load of clean towels downstairs and across the living room. 
I stopped briefly to check on Cody and Caroline in the recliner and turned to face the television just in time to hear Anderson Cooper introduce Ken Bone. 

What a name, I thought to myself. 

If you recognize the name Ken Bone you likely watched the debate, also. 
If you recognize this face you have likely watched television in the last two days. 

I don't know too much about this guy other than he captivated the country by bringing a fresh face and a red sweater to a vicious conversation between two enemies. It's as though the world stopped spinning and the dust settled a bit when that white tie and mustache took center stage. 

He is the first guy I've ever seen wear a white tie with no plans of getting married in less than an hour. 

I do know - while studying him in the media briefly in over the last 48 hours - that we can all learn a thing or three from the one and only Ken Bone. 

1. Flexibility pays off greatly in the long run

I'm actually not talking about running, at all. 

Ken made a split (pun so intended) decision to address a major issue and it ended up in his favor. He packed a lovely olive suit but had to wear a second string red sweater because of a last-minute catastrophe. His ability to evaluate a situation and act differently than planned put this guy on the map. It made him the absolute highlight of a nationally broadcasted train wreck. 

If you could just accept the fact that your plan may not be perfectly working out, what kind of reward might be waiting for you in the end?

2. Live in the Moment

This idea can be transformed into such a cliche, but Ken Bone can not. 
This is actual footage of Ken in a moment in time where he seized an opportunity. 
With a disposable camera. 
Like, the kind made of plastic and paper that comes in a foil wrapper. 
From a gas station. 

But because Ken had the 
1) confidence to wander aimlessly and alone around a set and 
2) determination to get a good shot and 
3) ingenuity to bring a disposal camera to a debate where cellular devices were banned 
he now has a keepsake photo (or 32) to commemorate the worst election in the history of our country and the night he broke the internet. You all know I believe in the power of film cameras. Seeing Ken take these photos sure brought a smile (giggle) to my face. 

When the credits roll, is your family going to have any record of the days you really lived, or will they all be one your cell phone or hard drive?

3. Be Unapologetically You
This is the most important thing we can learn from Ken Bone. 
Interview - after interview - after interview:
Ken doesn't apologize for his awkward last minute outfit change.
Ken doesn't hesitate to mention his beloved family (he mentions his grandfather, his grandmother and his mother). 
Ken doesn't pretend to abandon his real life responsibilities because every news channel in America came knocking. 
Ken remains solid, true to himself, confident and quirky as all get out. 

And I absolutely adore that about this stranger. 

In Caroline's nursery hangs this sign that I read every single day (or, night). It's not something my parents every said to me, but it is certainly something they taught me. They instilled this strong desire to never lose my unique, personal identity. This is the exact reason why I didn't over-pluck my eyebrows down to pencil thin lines like 73% of gals, ages 14 - 22, did in 2001.

In this entire world - this entire history - this entire galaxy:
God created only one you. 
Why (Why? Why? Why?) would you ever want to be like someone else?
Nothing about you is accidental. 
And no one in this entire world has the amazing ability to be you.
Be Unapologetically you.  

I could have folded laundry Sunday night in our living room with the two snooze buckets in the recliner but I wanted to remove myself from any negativity that may lie ahead. Instead, I walked in on a perfect life lesson from some guy I'll never have the opportunity to meet. 

One thing is certain: I'll take some random guy in a red sweater who loves his grandma blowing up my media feed any day over politics.

The world needs more Ken Bone

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