In my last post, I said, I was going to write about the three types of relationships we need in our lives. The first type of people we want in our lives are those who are already ahead of us in the areas we want to grow or change in. For Sarah and I, one of those relationships was with an organization and the people who make that company what it is.
I love city life. I love the creativity that runs through the streets. I love the vast diversity of skin and personality that one encounters on a daily basis. The city is a current of dreamers. However, for me, city life had a dark side. I was allowing City life to build residual stress that I never learned to manage, nor acknowledge (which was half the problem, I wanted to appear strong). About five years ago, Sarah and I became attracted to the camping, outdoor-adventure world, because of the ethics and lifestyle that the folks who embody this way of living seem to embrace. The spirit of adventure coupled with a light-hearted acceptance of the here and now was the ethos we were envious of.
So, we began fostering a relationship with an organization out of Austin, called Kammok, the very organization that may be responsible for helping us learn to live with adventure as a value. Kammok is an outside adventure company that promotes outdoor adventure and produces some of the best outdoor equipment on the market. When we began to pursue this company, we didn’t do so because we were outdoor enthusiasts, we did so because we valued the same principles Kammok valued, and they embodied them better than we did. Therefore, we knew we could learn a lot from them. Kammok is guided more by their values (adventure, community, and love) than by their profit. Kammok exists to help people experience life as an adventure through the sacraments of nature, camping, and hiking. As a result, those very people learn to live more free and adventurous in every arena of their lives We wanted this, but we didn’t have it.
The largest hurdle in developing these relationships is the need for humility. We have to get to the place where we can admit someone else is better than we are in this particular arena of our lives. That is a hard place for some of us to get to. It’s easy to admit someone is better than we are in an arena we don’t care about (i.e. - Adam Rippon and Ice Skating). However, to admit someone else has figured out something you haven’t but want to is pride-swallowing.
Since building a relationship with Kammok, we, as a family, have come to better embody their values. But it doesn’t end there. Our relationship has blossomed into a partnership as well. One small single camping trip and relational and financial investments on our part evolved into a sponsored three-month road trip which grew into partnering with them to equip an outdoor adventure group of teenagers in Honduras (http://urbanpromisehonduras.org/urbantrekkers) with the proper adventure gear to accomplish long treks across the entire country (scroll below to see pictures of the kids enjoying their new kammoks).
To tell a better story with your life you need to surround yourself with those who are ahead of you in a specific area of your life - an area you want to grow in. Submit to them. Pay the price to be close to them. Learn from them even if they are very different from you. While no one can predict where the relationship will go, I can tell you, that your story will become richer because of them.