Mountaineer Sir Edmond Hillary was the first man documented to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Born a New Zealander in 1919, by his twentieth birthday he’d accomplished more wildly courageous feats than most humans amass in a lifetime. Throughout his days as a Second World War volunteer aviator, reaching both the North and South Pole overland, climbing Everest, serving as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Bangladesh, or his selfless philanthropic venture in Napal – The Himalayan Trust, Hillary faced and defeated countless life challenges.
While searching the mind and our archives for an appropriate year-end post, it occurred to me that as 2017 comes to a close, formidable challenges face many in our family, be they blood relative or friend. There is severe illness, uncertainty, discord and hardship that seem insurmountable. While the final outcome of individual struggle may not fit our idea of a perfect world result, it is possible to manage our expectation so as to minimize our own stress and to stay vigilant and able to set an example of strength, caring and love. Hillary believed we need only look within ourselves for strength, and to pray for an extra measure of courage. He realized he was not alone, that there need not be fear of the unknown, that countless others had passed the same test before – that God, family and friends are all around to remind us that within ourselves lies immeasurable, still untapped strength. The unknown will become known – and understood.
So, as 2018 approaches, reach deep within. Reach the terminus of your trail of challenge and then walk back… Because now you understand the unknown.
And remember… “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves…”
~ Sir Edmond Percival Hillary