Ed Dufour: Our Significance In the Lives of Others

I found out over the weekend that a good friend of mine’s father passed away. I can’t imagine what he must be going through because he shared a very close relationship with his father just as I do with my own dad.

Back in the early 90’s I had a acquired what they call target panic while shooting archery. I couldn’t hold the pin on the target and when I explained it to people they couldn’t imagine what I was talking about. Then, I sought out Ed Dufour because he had the most knowledge of anyone in the area about archery. I explained the problem to him and he smiled and handed me a 4  finger release aid without a trigger on it. I couldn’t imagine what it was. He went on to explain to me that I had target panic and the best way that I could conquer it would be to learn how to shoot the release. He warned me that it wouldn’t be easy and it would require many hours of practice before I would be able to perfect it. Since I loved archery I listened intently and went on my way.

Before long I was able to accomplish the goal that I had set. Eventually I became close with his son Brett and we shared our successes and failures in archery. I’m a very competetive person by nature and I don’t like to lose. However, Brett brought out the best in me and he’s one of the few people that I never minded when he beat me. I knew how hard he worked at it and I liked to see him succeed because I knew his efforts were the same or harder than my own. If I couldn’t win I always hoped he would.  Although we weren’t competitive with one another we quietly pushed each other to become better.

It brings me to why I’m writing this tonight. His father Ed helped me in ways he probably never knew. I owe most of my shooting success to that one simple conversation we had in his shop that night when he explained to me what target panic was and what I could do to beat it.

My goal in life is to make sure that I had a positive effect on some people that I leave behind. If anyone can do that their life has definitely been a success. I’m not sure if I have accomplished that yet, but I try every day to be a better person than I was the day before. There are many days that I’m sure I don’t measure up to the standard I set for myself, but then every once in a while I feel like I accomplish something to be proud of.

I try to quietly touch others. I try to stay postive for them and show them that there is a better way. I don’t have room for a lot of negativity in my life although it’s impossible to totally avoid it.

I recently met someone that gives me a totally different perspective on life. It’s actually fascinating to me. I never rule anything out because it’s better for life to take us where it’s supposed to. Too many people try to get in the way and control the direction their lives go in. That’s where the problems arise. Instead of living in the moment too many people try to create a new moment rather than letting it gently fall in their lap.

The person I met is caught between knowing what the right thing to do is and actually having the courage to step forward to leave the old life behind. It’s a very difficult place to be in and I can remember a  few times when I was in the same exact place. It’s like you’re being torn in a zillion different directions although there is only two forces pulling you. That’s where it comes down to the choices that we make.

Everyone comes to a point in their life where it’s time to make a choice. You either choose to stay where you are and let the dirt bury you or you move forward, put the past behind and embrace the new journey that will begin in front of you. Many people feel that they’re leaving good times behind, but they may just find something so much better in the years that follow if they trust their judgment. When your mind tells you the same thing over and over there comes a time where you have to step back and listen to what it is telling you. If you’re soul searching and find yourself in bars because it makes you happy it might be time to reevaluate your situation. I know far too many people who end up feeling extremely guilty after a night out on the town, but for some reason they’re drawn back in week after week. They’re surrounded by other people that are soul searching in all of the wrong places. The answer doesn’t lie where it is sought, rather it is within our own soul where we need a lot of quiet time to examine it, analyze it and do what is best to help us grow.

I believe the person that I’m speaking of is searching right now. Maybe a little unsure of what she’s looking for, but in the back of her mind she knows what she should do to give herself the best opportunity to find it. Some people don’t know how to help themselves, while others do and never choose to acknowledge it. The ones who end up the best in the end are the ones who make all the right choices as they encounter them.

Whether you’re 10,20 or 60 you’re always growing and learning. It’s amazing how much we can learn from people in different generations if we allow ourselves to get close enough and listen to what comes to the forefront. I’m nothing short of amazed right now. I have many new perspectives on things and I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to see it unfold in front of me.

Always try to touch others even if it’s in a small way. What may seem insignificant to you, might just be a world of difference to someone else. I’m very fortunate that I went to see Brett’s dad that day. The visit allowed me to have a lifelong passion for archery that I very easily could have walked away from if he hadn’t helped me. That’s one of the main reasons I try to help others. It might just be a few words I say, I quiet nod of the head or even a little archery instruction. Whatever it may be, I hope that in the end I’ve touched enough lives to make my own existence carry on well after I’m gone. If I’ve touched your life I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to help. For all those people that have touched mine I will be forever grateful. As you move forward give the most of yourself that you can and you’ll surely bring out the best in those around you as well as yourself.

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