Somewhere Along The Way... (5023) - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM

Somewhere Along The Way… (5023)

Somewhere along the way is a terrific lyric and song title by the band, DAWES. Click play on that video and give it a listen.

These are the last lyrics to the song…

But somewhere along the way I started to smile again
I don’t remember when
Somewhere along the way
Things will turn out just fine
I know it’s true this time

So many things happen somewhere along the way. The older we get, the further up the trail we travel. Somewhere along the way just about anything and everything happens. Things we didn’t bargain for. Other things we caused. Intentionally. Unintentionally.

Every life consists of the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. It’s the dramatic contrasts that make up every life. Life may be a highway, but it’s not quite like that open, clear and straight stretch. Well, not for long. Our lives have bumps, twists, turns, potholes and hazards. Unlike Waze, which warns us, life doesn’t always provide ample notice.

But today I’m not concentrating on the downside. Or the unexpected drama. Instead, I’m thinking of the things we’ve been able to figure out somewhere along the way. The lessons we learned. The growth we experienced. All because we’re on this highway of our life with more road ahead of us to traverse. Feeling the need, if not the urgency, to get it even more figured out so we can have the best journey possible.

Today, and I suppose every day, it should be about our collective efforts to help each other figure it out so we can make the trip profitable, impactful and memorable.

Do you know what’s mostly missing from that featured image for today’s show? People. There are no people in that image and that makes the trip boring, unprofitable and pretty worthless.

This morning I had a long breakfast meeting with one of my former clients – one of my very favorite former clients. We spent considerable time talking about relationships and why we matter to each other. Not just he and I, but why so many people in our lives matter. We both know it’s because somewhere along the way we needed somebody, and somewhere along the way, we were needed by somebody.

Let’s face it. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There’s a considerable amount of hatred, bigotry, and judgment. Somewhere along the way, we lost our compassion. Somewhere along the way, grace gave way to harsh condemnation. Somewhere along the way many of us lost our way in how to build meaningful relationships with others.

Somewhere along the way we lost our willingness to cut each other some slack.

Somewhere along the way we lost our curiosity to confirm whether our assumptions or conclusions were accurate or not.

Somewhere along the way we lost our way toward living more deeply honest lives, opting instead for Internet fame measured by followers, shares and likes.

Somewhere along the way we lost our humanity. Our hearts grew colder, more judgmental and bitter. Resentment overtook us and somewhere along the way we embraced feeling victimized. We surrendered our hearts and our control over our own choices.

Of course, we didn’t all lose it. Or surrender it. But it’s growing increasingly difficult to guard our hearts and protect ourselves from the hatred, intolerance and harsh judgment.

Somewhere along the way lots of people got lost. I watched Operation Toussaint on Amazon Prime the other day. It’s a documentary about Tim Ballard, an ex-Homeland Security officer who is now the founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit dedicated to rescuing enslaved children. According to Tim, the population of enslaved people is higher today than at any other time in human history. According to, there are an estimated 5 million children enslaved throughout the world. That number proves the high demand of sick people willing to sell, buy and trade children for sex or work. Somewhere along the way these people stopped behaving as humans with care, concern, and compassion for children. Somewhere along the way, they grow so selfish and so depraved that they’re nothing but a scourge on the world.

How is it possible for human beings to become so steeped in sin and corruption? I often look for answers, likely searching in the bushes of complexity for what may likely be simpler answers. That most of us simply decide to do what we want. Somewhere along the way we decide we’ll do what we most want to do, no matter what. No matter who is hurt. No matter what damage is done. Along the way convincing ourselves that we deserve the ability to do whatever it is we most want to do.

It’s a desolate journey. A road not less traveled, but a road more traveled. Self-centeredness. Selfishness.

Leaning toward wisdom is the name of the podcast. Not leaning toward foolishness. So I want to turn this ship around and set sail for the shores of OPTIMISM to what may be a far away country from where you currently are, HOPE. There’s something marvelous about this country called HOPE. It’s grossly underpopulated. There are no walls or narrow ports of entry. Nobody needs a passport or visa. Citizenship is open to anybody who simply decides to go there and abide by the rules that govern the place…you just have to keep hope alive and display it in your life. Lose compassion and care for others and you lose hope. It’s that simple.

Being Responsible

Somewhere along the way, we learn to accept responsibility for ourselves or we learn to put the blame on others. It’s a fairly binary lesson we learn even though we execute it on a scale that often slides around. Some days we’re more victim than responsible. Other days we’re more responsible than victim. The key is to veer as strongly as we can, every single day, toward being responsible. Taking care of ourselves and owning our own outcomes.

As adults, we have to embrace personal responsibility because we are – responsible. Those enslaved kids that Tim Ballard rescues…they’re true victims. They’re not responsible for what has happened to them. But we’re not them. We’re adults. We make choices every day to do whatever it is we do. When our outcomes aren’t what we want – or hope them to be – it’s up to us to change our course…somewhere along the way. To figure out what we must do to improve and grow. To become responsible.

It’s The Path To Our Ability To Help Others By First Helping Ourselves

Lost souls. On the lost highway. Leon Payne was a Texas born and bred songwriter. Hank Williams, Sr. recorded one of his songs in 1949, Lost Highway. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers also recorded it in 2006. You can see video of their performance in the documentary, Running Down A Dream.

I’m a rollin’ stone all alone and lost
For a life of sin I have paid the cost
When I pass by all the people say
Just another guy on the lost highway
Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine
And a woman’s lies makes a life like mine
O the day we met, I went astray
I started rolling down that lost highway
I was just a lad, nearly twenty two
Neither good nor bad, just a kid like you
And now I’m lost, too late to pray
Lord I take a cost, o the lost highway
Now boy’s don’t start to ramblin’ round
On this road of sin are you sorrow bound
Take my advice or you’ll curse the day
You started rollin’ down that lost highway

Job one is to get off the lost highway. It’s not the road to hope and humanity. But it’s overcrowded fooling us into thinking it’s the road to somewhere.

Somewhere along the way we hopefully look around more closely and gauge the behavior of the folks on the lost highway. It’s then that we wake up, realizing we’re behaving just like them. And it’s not wise. Or good.

Hope Manifested

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

― William Hutchison Murray

We can create our own hope, increase our own humanity and become better people. But not until we’re committed to something other than our selfishness.

Serendipity is a real thing. So is providence.

Few things trump the power of a mind made up. Couple a mind made up with a mind determined to forge ahead and you’ve got an unrivaled superpower.

Investigation Discovery is a favorite TV channel in our house. I admit it can be very depressing to watch how cruel and unreasonable people can behave toward others. Especially family. But rather than making me more callous, it fuels my already high empathy. Empathy for the investigators and law enforcement folks trying to solve the murders. Empathy for the family members dealing with the aftermath of the horrific experiences. Empathy for all the victims.

To what are you committed as you motor down the road? Somewhere along the way, there are tons of opportunities for selfish wickedness. But somewhere along the way are many more opportunities for hope, helpfulness, and expressions of compassion. What we choose along the way determines the destination. There’s the lead I’m so fond of burying in most episodes. That somewhere along the way we make up our minds what we’ll do, how we’ll behave toward others, what actions we’ll engage in, to what emotions and decisions we’ll surrender…and they all add up to determine our destiny.

We’re tempted to not think so. Life urges us to finger point, feel sorry for ourselves, blame others…and to live with wishful thinking. Wishing our lives had been better. Wishing somebody would save us from our own stupidity and foolishness. Wishing for more without paying the high price required. Wishing for happiness without sacrifice. Wishing for relationships without having to submit to anything except what we most want ourselves.

Along the way means we’re moving. Hopefully, forward. But maybe not. Many lives are meandering. Some, in the ditch. Like truckers, it’s important that we keep it between the white lines. Equally critical that we stay in our lane and not swerve into oncoming traffic. Life may be a highway, but we still have to be careful and watchful.

We tend to think of life along the way as just one way. But like your favorite vacation destination, you have to know the folks who live there vacation somewhere else. Maybe they go to your hometown. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor and all that.

The destinations of life vary. To each his own.

But no matter where you’re aiming to go, there’s a right way and wrong way to get there. Sometimes it’s helpful to delay our goal in order to help somebody get further along toward their own destination. Quite often we find such actions propel us forward toward our own goal. It’s the upside of unintended consequences. They’re not always negative.

Somewhere along the way we learn. We grow. We improve. We find out what matters the most. Who matters the most. But it only happens when we’re dedicated to being better human beings.

I’ll leave you with the lyrics of another song Somewhere Along The Way that was recorded in 1951 by Nat King Cole. It was written by Kurt Adams, with lyrics by Sammy Gallop.

I used to walk with you
Along the avenue
Our hearts were carefree and gay
How could I know I’d lose you
Somewhere along the way?
The friends we used to know
Would always smile “Hello”
No love like our love they’d say
Then love slipped through our fingers
Somewhere along the way
I should forget
But with the loneliness of night I start remembering everything
You’re gone and yet
There’s still a feeling deep inside
That you will always be part of me
So now I look for you
Along the avenue
And as I wander I pray
That some day soon I’ll find you
Somewhere along the way
I should forget
But with the loneliness of night I start remembering everything
You’re gone and yet
There’s still a feeling deep inside
That you will always be part of me
So now I look for you
Along the avenue
And as I wander I pray
That some day soon I’ll find you
Somewhere along the way
Somewhere along the way

Who are you looking for somewhere along the way? I hope it’s somebody to help. Somebody to encourage. Somebody to listen to, and understand. Somebody who may just be the somebody able to do for you what nobody else can. Or will.


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