Ok, I’m going out on a limb here, and hopefully won’t lose too many of you. I’m feeling emotional today as it is our twin grand babies 3rd birthday, joining us prematurely just three years past.

What do they have to do with water quality?

Only everything, I would argue, as they are the ones who will inherit the results of our efforts to protect our endangered water resources in the face of unprecedented threats. And they will be handed the mantle of leadership for that critical responsibility after we are gone.

So, here we go. It’s your lucky month! Three blog posts for the price of two.

I was raised with the belief that everyone is a leader, each in our own way, and I have seen it be true throughout my career and life.

And, as mentioned before, I tend to tie posts to personal dates to keep me grounded as to what is really important in my life. No date in these 71+ years has been more important than October 30th. Exactly three years ago today, Carver Benjamin and Avery Lynn were born 45 minutes apart and 4 weeks premature at 3 lbs, 15 ozs, and 4 lbs, 8 ozs, respectively. So tiny and so fragile. I shall never forget.

And, it could have been even more challenging. They almost emerged at thirty weeks and less than three pounds of weight each when water broke and labor began. But Mom fought through on her back, confined to hospital bed rest, to buy them four additional critical weeks of development and more than a pound of weight each.

Their mother has crafted a clever folk tale for the twins to enjoy at a later age about this whole birth episode. Mr. Carver led a jail break by shoving his sister aside and forcing his way down the birth canal. Miss Avery admonished him for screwing things up, for breaking Mom’s water. Avery challenged Carver to fix things immediately. He promptly shoved his head into vacated space and blocked the exit. He ultimately emerged first in line as a cone head, and was consigned to wearing a red helmet until after his first birthday.

So who is a leader? Carver for taking risks and extending his comfort zones? Or Avery for embracing an unexpected opportunity and nurturing the leadership potential in her colleague?

I believe both Carver and Avery are leaders. And as stated earlier, I believe there is a leader lurking in each of us if we trust our instincts and give ourselves a chance.

Avoiding leadership opportunities, saying “no” more than “yes,” allowing our fears to constrain, and hiding in our comfort zones is the norm for far too many of us. It is a natural protective mechanism.

The fact is that leadership opportunities abound in each and every corner of our lives if we are only open to finding our way to them.

Of course we’ve got to say “yes” and follow our flow beyond fears and comfort zones. Flow is what we trust in ourselves, our instincts, our intuition. Flow is what moves us forward, never backward, and if we aren’t moving forward what are we doing? Sinking?

Effective leadership has never been more important in the context of protecting and preserving our environment. Avery and Carver will be raised to be open to leadership opportunities in a world sorely in need of inspired leaders, and to trust and follow their own unique flow. As they did in joining us October 30, 2015.

I hope all of us will step up and lead as well. With a renewed sense of urgency and passion. There is too much at risk, including pig CAFOs on America’s first national river, to just sit on the sidelines. That is in the end what this post is all about, in the comfortable context of family and friends.

Back to business next month! In the meantime, Happy 3rd Birthday Twins!

Coming Next, November 15 – ENVIRONMENTAL SUMMITRY

View past articles from River Rant The Blog here.

Stay current on books, presentations, and blogs at www.ToddParnell.com.

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