We’ve had our son home from school for the last few days. Today as a means of passing the time, he was watching the movie “Cool Runnings” which is a story of four Jamaican men who entered the first Jamaican bobsled team in the 1988 Winter Olympics. Their first days on the track were somewhat of an embarrassment. However, as they days progressed, it soon became obvious that they were becoming a force to be reckoned with.
One scene in the movie I found quite powerful. The captain of the team, Derice Bannock, was so inspired by the Swiss team, that he began to imitate them, psyching his team up the way the Swiss did, counting at the start of a race the way the Swiss did, and pushed his team in the ways of the Swiss so much that they became frustrated and nervous. Because of this, when it came time to race in front of the crowds, they totally fell apart.
What turned them around and brought an incredible change in performance and unity within the team was a comment made by one of his teammates at the end of the day when they were debriefing. As he expressed his frustrations, he stated, “I didn’t come up here to forget who I am, and where I come from... If we look Jamaica, walk Jamaica, talk Jamaica, and is Jamaica, the we sure better bobsled as Jamaica”.
Sometimes we too can be inspired by the words and actions of others and try to imitate them because they are successful, or are liked by others or are wealthy or whatever else our reasons can be. I remember growing up, my mother would continuously quote famous people that inspired her saying, Gloria says this, or, Joyce says that. I remember asking her one day, “That’s fine mum, but what do you say?”
We often imitate others. Many people like to model themselves after famous people. It is both good and necessary to have mentors and coaches who can speak into our lives, but we still need to be genuine to ourselves. One thing we can easily forget (and I’ll personalise this) is that I was created to make a difference.
No one can do better than I can, that which God placed me on this earth to do. In the same manner, no one can be a better you, than you can. We can’t make a difference to others while we are trying to be someone else. Be an inspiration to others, rather than an imitator of others. Be true to yourself. You are unique! You are special! Put one foot in front of the other and begin moving forward, because you were created to make a difference in this world.