Over the weekend I had some friends bring up the story about Nicolas Winton. Does his name ring a bell? Possibly not. Let me back up.
About five years ago, I was watching ‘60 Minutes’ after a football game. The truly surprising thing for those that know me is that I was watching football, not that I was watching a 60 Minutes segment (click here to watch the video). I watched a truly inspiring story and it has stuck with me for all these years. For those that don’t have time to watch the video, here is a synopsis.
Nicolas Winton, a British businessman, changed the lives of many children leading up to World War II. During a two week break from work, he decided to leave for Prague to see if something could be done to help families get their children out of the country as preparations were being made to allow Germany to move into the area. Many of the children were Jewish and he worked to get them to England by greasing a few palms, forming a non-profit under the title of another agency, and changing a few forms to mimic official documents. In total, 669 children were rescued from the area. In fact, he had even another trainload of children leaving the country, too, but unfortunately was stopped by the German’s and they weren’t able to escape. For 50 years he never talked about it. In the 80’s a British television show surprised him by introducing him to some of the children (now adults) that he had saved. I am in no way doing this story justice. You really need to click the link above. It will bring a tear to your eye.
There is a statement that Mr. Winton makes that I think about every day. “If something’s not impossible there must be a way of doing it.” Think about your last vacation. Think about his! Think about how many times we throw our hands up in the air and vent about that there is just no way of doing this or that. Think about how he went to a different country and saved over 600 children from the ravages of war and the concentration camps. If it isn’t impossible there must be a way!
Each morning as I come to the office I look at two slips of paper on my desk. The first says, ‘Does God seem far away? Guess who moved?’ The second is Mr. Winton’s quote, ‘If something’s not impossible there must be a way of doing it.’ I commit myself to both of these statements each day.
Life is hard. It can be daunting. Work can be, too. And then I remind myself that there must be a way.
Will you join me?
See you at the Y!
Steve Smith, President