There’s a wonderful story about Jimmy Durante, one of the great entertainers of a generation ago.
He was asked to be a part of a show for World War II veterans. He told them his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes, but if they wouldn’t mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next appointment, he would come. Of course, the show’s director agreed happily.
But when Jimmy got on stage, something interesting happened. He went through the short monologue and then stayed. The applause grew louder and louder and he kept staying. Pretty soon, he had been on fifteen, twenty, then thirty minutes. Finally, he took a last bow and left the stage. Backstage, someone stopped him and said, “I thought you had to go after a few minutes. What happened?”
Jimmy answered , “I did have to go, but I can show you the reason I stayed. You can see for yourself if you’ll look on that front row.” In the front row were two men, each of whom had lost an arm in the war. One had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left. Together, they were able to clap, and that’s exactly what they were doing, loudly and cheerfully.
This story is an inspiration for me to continue not only in our running activity but in facing life’s battle as well. For somewhere out there, some people looked on us as though we were their idols. Just seeing them clapping for us as we run this long and narrow path, gives us joy and inspiration, thus enabling us to pursue our quest.
And let us not forget to give that well deserved applause to those many Jimmy Durantes of our time, who keep inspiring and motivating us.
God be Praised!