Redshift, Chapter 4

[Surprise.  I’m in the mood to write another chapter!  Note: there’s no telling when I’ll write another.  So, take it as you like or ignore it.  It is what it is, as they say.]

<- Read Chapter 1

<- Read Chapter 3

Black Hole

The gravitational force of a black hole is so powerful that not even light can escape it.  To a distant observer, wavelengths of light nearing a black hole begin to elongate, causing them to appear redder and dimmer until they finally disappear into the abyss.  So it is with deception.

Deception stretches and distorts the light of truth. With fierce intent it claims its victims.  Yet, before its prey is consumed, a remote observer may notice the redshift and intervene, freeing the captive with a light more powerful than the darkness.



“… And the way to make a difference is to start with yourself.  If you can’t change yourself, you certainly won’t change the world!”

Applause broke out across the room, hundreds of eyes focusing on Gavin Morehead.  All were enrapt in his confident smile, positive words, and charming demeanor. Some had seen him many times before.  He made everyone feel warm and relaxed, like an intoxicating beverage.

“The key is knowing what to change and what not to change.

Every one of us is fickle.  We spend most of our time trying to change the world around us.  ‘I don’t like my job!’ so I need a new boss, or different responsibilities, more money, less responsibilities, or whatever.  ‘I don’t like you!’ so I need you to be smarter, funnier, slower, faster, happier, sadder, better looking, worse looking, friendlier, not so friendly, up, down, left, right, and generally do whatever I tell you!

Well that’s not helping, is it?

And look around you.  Lots of folks are trying to change you the same way!

Change is not all bad.  Who doesn’t want to be better?  Happier?  More successful?  We all do.  But there’s one thing in the way.  And guess what friends, it isn’t the world around us.  It’s us.  We are the roadblock.

We all desire good things, but we don’t really want to change anything to get them.  We’d rather dream about greatness than live it out.  We’d rather talk than do.

There’s a reason for that.  It’s called comfort. ‘I know what I have over here. If I go over there, I don’t know what I’ll have over there.  So, I’ll stay here.’  Isn’t that right folks?”

(Someone in the back shouts, “Amen!”

“Heh.  Well, thank you, brother!  But this isn’t a church service. Not that I mind religion.  I believe in God and I’m a God-fearing man.  But what I’m talking about here is just plain old horse sense.  I’m talking about truths our grandparents generation understood.  Things we’ve forgotten about.  Things we used to call The American Way!”


“… I’ll say something.  When I was a boy, my Daddy took me to see Sandy Koufax pitch against our beloved Minnesota Twins in the first game of the 1965 World Series.  He wanted me to see greatness.  Only Mr. Koufax decided not to pitch baseball that day.  It fell on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day.  As a faithful Jewish man, he could not in good conscience pitch on that day.  There was a lot of fallout from that decision.  People didn’t like it.  I was disappointed.  I didn’t get to see Mr. Koufax pitch.  But my Dad told me, ‘Son, you may not have seen a great pitcher today, but you did see a great lesson from a great man.  Stand up for what you believe in.'”

(Cheers and applause)

“There are some things you don’t change.  And some you do.

Everyone one of us is going home tonight thinking about our future.  We want a better world for ourselves, for our children, and maybe even for the world of tomorrow.  With all we see happing in this world, we may begin to doubt.  The glass starts looking half-empty.  If we hold onto that long enough it’ll look all the way empty.  There’s a better way.

I want all of you to repeat after me.

“I am somebody.”


“I have something!”


“I can make a difference!”


“I can be the difference.”


“Ok.  Now how many of you believe that?”

(Applause.  Some still not sure… clapping, but waiting for “the answer.”)

Gavin looked over the audience, putting his hand up to his head like a visor to block the glare of the lights so he could see.

“Some of you are still wondering.  How can I be that change?  What can I do?  Well, here’s what you can do…

If you are the problem, stop being the problem.  And stop making excuses.

If you eat too much, drink too much, sleep too much, gripe too much, play too much, or even work too much, get rid of the “too much.”

Can you say that with me?  ‘Get rid of the too much.'”


“All that too much you’re carrying around with you is just weighing you down.

Second, and this is really tough, if you’re not doing something positive, start doing something!  Do something positive!  Say that with me!  ‘Do something positive!'”


“That’s it.  That’s how you can be the difference.  It’s just straight old horse sense, isn’t it?”


“Now what exactly are you going to do?  Do you want me to tell you?  Am I your God?  Heck no! (Laughs)  Man, you’d sure be a sad sack if you’ve got me for your God. (Audience laughs).

You’ve got to decide.  You know who you are.  You know what you do.  You need to have a sit down meeting with yourself and discuss what you are going to do.

If you see something in your community that needs done, why don’t you do it?  If someone needs help and you are there to give it, why don’t you give it?  And if you need help, what are you going to do to get it?  Are you going to wait for change or make a change?

‘Well, Gavin. I hear what your saying, but I just can’t do it.  I’ve got this and that and all this other stuff in the way.  A’int nothing I can do.’

Friend, that’s a victim’s attitude.  And if you have that attitude, you’ll never be the change.

Remember: If you can’t change yourself, you certainly can’t change the world.”

(Applause.  A couple of whistles.)

“But all of us can change ourselves.  That’s the one thing in our control.  Your boss may tell you what to do, but she can’t tell you who to be.  Your friends can’t tell you who to be.  Your family can’t tell you who to be.  I can’t tell you who to be.  Oh, we may all have our opinions, but in the end you decide who you will be.

Repeat after me:

“I am somebody.”


“I have something!”


“I can make a difference!”


“I can be the difference.”


“Get rid of the too much.”


“Do something positive.”


“Do something positive.”


“Do something positive.”


(Mass applause)

“Thank you, folks! It’s been great spending time with you this evening. There’s lots more to say that can help you make a difference.  You can pick up my book out front on the way out, if you want, and read all about it.  Have a good night and God bless!”

(Applause.  Standing ovation.)

Gavin shook hands with numerous audience members near the stage, before exiting backstage.  Another good night in the motivational speaking biz.


2 responses to “Redshift, Chapter 4

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