I’m not a dreamer. Growing up in a stark reality didn’t seem to leave time for dreaming. As I grew older, I was relentless in my pursuit of goals, and it served me well. But today seems different.

At times it feels as though we are at war. With each other, with ourselves, and with an enemy who doesn’t seem to have a name. We look past the gifts in our lives and focus instead on what we imagine divides us and each time, we get more angry… more resentful. This weighs heavy on me because it is not something I can control and I fear that it will steal the innocence from my children and begin building their own stark reality.

For the first time in my life, this finds me wishing. Wishing for things that used to be, that aren’t and possibly never will be. Wishing…

I wish every person would look upon another and realize that we all have 99% in common with each other in the things that truly matter in life. We were all innocent children once.  We all have scars of battle that have shaped us, sometimes in good ways and sometimes, bad. We have all loved, and lost, and we all hope for better. Many would have you think we are all so different, but in my travels across the world I can tell you we are largely the same.

I wish every person went through the same ritual I do every day— waking up in the morning and giving thanks for another day that I am alive and get to serve those I care about. Going to bed at night and giving thanks that I received another day and learned a few things that hopefully, will allow me to do better tomorrow should I be so lucky. It keeps you humble and reminds you what is important.

I wish I could create the perfect life for my family. Shelter them from the bad, while still somehow downloading into them the hard lessons I’ve learned that have built a life of gratitude and peace. Give them experiences that reveal the countless amazing gifts and beauty of this life we’ve been given. And someday learn that I was the type of parent that served them well.

I wish everyone would slow down and realize that their life is fuller, happier and more productive as a result. There’s a saying in the tactical world, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast,” that also applies to life. Move slow enough to actually see the world and those around you, but fast enough to see more of it. Don’t leave things unsaid and those things that you have always dreamed of doing undone.

I wish I could find the words to truly express how much I cherish my wife and children and get them to fully understand what is in my heart. That everyone can remember that first time they saw their spouse and how they felt. The first time they held hands. Their first date and the first time they kissed. The first time they set their eyes on their children and how it instantly changed them forever and hold on to that feeling every minute. I wish folks would spend more time thinking of these things.

I wish everyone realized that it is not the things that make a life, but the deeds. A few good friends that you’re lucky enough to share a few good times with that you’ll never forget. The daily reminder of the deeds of those who have come before us, and who serve and sacrifice now so that we can have the freedoms that are so easy to take for granted.

So, in these times that seem intent on trying to divide us, make us fear the unknown and steal the things that are most important, I ask simply this—I wish for each of you to take just one afternoon, think about what you wish for and move slowly. Gather those who mean the most to you, give them a hug and tell them you love them. Share an old story about how vividly you remember the first date with the love of your life. Go outside, fly the flag, grill something, and look up at the sky with the memory of those who built all of this for us. For those who can’t join you, pick up the phone and share just one sentence with them that lets them know they matter. When you go to bed that evening, reflect on all that is good in your life, give thanks and sleep with the peace knowing you had a good day.

I am grateful that my team, this industry and each of you have been a wish come true for me—an amazing group of hard-working people for me to serve. Take care of yourselves, your family and your team this summer and spend more time acting on your wishes.

Patrick Adams, President | 526 Media Group, Inc.
Send your thoughts and messages on this issue and article to Patrick at padams@526mediagroup.com