Twenty-Five Feet of Sidewalk


I would like to start this day by thanking my fellow veterans and all those who serve. To all those who voluntarily stand to protect our country and to serve our nation, I thank you. We know not where each of you lay your heads tonight, yet we know where you live. You live within our hearts.

It’s a cold day here. It has snowed since yesterday morning, and our temperature is about 19. They predict we will probably get to 27 today. My advice, hot chocolate with marshmallows consumed by a window while enjoying the scenery. In an hour I’m going to go out and shovel the sidewalk because it looks like the kids will go to school today with only a two-hour delay.

I could stay inside and stay warm. But there’s a sense of duty to others within our community. I live a half a block from an elementary school. Many kids in the neighborhood will be walking on my sidewalk on their way to that school this morning. And, getting little ones where they’re going safely is an obligation to all of our futures.

What we do, we do for common good. And, whatever we do, will come back to us in time. We don’t do it for some future glory, we work towards the betterment of all. And what we do, we do because we know it’s the best we have to offer.

Who knows, the sidewalk shoveled allows a second grader to get safely to school. The second grader learns and shares ideas that other students and a teacher pick up. Somebody finds an interest in math or science or art. They discover a niche that they can work with and learn from and continue to work with it as they grow and learn more. Give it 15 or 20 years, and we may have an entrepreneur, or scientist, or an architect whose new creations inspire the world, work that may save lives, or solve mysteries of the universe or does something else marvelous and moves all of us forward.

I find it amazing what a tremendous effect shoveling 25 feet of sidewalk can produce.

Thank you for being with me today, I hope to be with you again tomorrow.






Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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