For The Unsure

It’s July 1966.

And it’s sweltering hot in Austin Texas.

Claire Wilson and her boyfriend Tom Eckman are taking summer classes at the University of Texas.

Hot as hell

They just got out of an anthropology test. So they head over to the Student Union, to hang out for a while.

They’re just starting to cool off when they realize that they’re about to get a parking ticket. So they hurry across campus to put a quarter in the meter.

Hear that?

While they’re walking across the big, open plaza under the tower, a shot rings out.

It hits Claire, and she falls.

And then a second shot shatters the air. It hits Tom … and he falls beside her. Dead.

Hell is happening

Charles Whitman is the sniper at the top of the 27-story tower. He can’t be seen. He can’t be heard. And nobody knows what he wants or why he’s doing this.

They just know they need to find a way to survive. They just want to somehow get through what turns into an hour-and-a-half horror.

About twenty minutes into the chaos, Clare lies motionless on the hot concrete. Without help.

Someone do something

Suddenly, a little red haired girl named Rita runs across that vast open space toward Clair. She throws herself on to the hard, scorching concrete. And lies beside Clair.

Rita is totally inadequate for the situation in which she finds herself.

She can’t offer any first aid.

She doesn’t have the strength to carry Clair to safety.

But she believes she can help

So for the next hour she lies there on her stomach on that hot concrete completely exposed to the gunman.

For one hour, she just talks to Clair and asks her questions to keep her conscience. And ultimately save her life.

Sometimes I feel totally inadequate. Totally unprepared to make any kind of difference in people’s lives.


Then I remember what Rita did for Clair and I think, “I could at least be there for someone”.

But the question is, do I have the faith and courage?

If you want to transform your purpose, your organization, and your tribe be like Rita.


When you feel inadequate, don’t let fear overtake you.

Look inside yourself.

Find the little thing you can do. And do it.

The problem with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

Bertrand Russell

Fear not

For we are not given the spirit of fear.

But of power.

And of love.

And a sound mind,

Be brave

For the future, as always, belongs to us… the brave.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s your take?