Kidnapped by the Taliban!

This week, I was fascinated by the NY Times story by David Rohde, a reporter who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for over seven months.

The story is a interesting in its own right. But, for those of us who have friends and family risking their lives over there today, it strikes especially close to home.

David was on his way to an interview with a rebel leader when his car was surrounded by armed gunmen…emotionless, dark-eyed men who clearly intended to kill him. The story is starkly frightening.

But, the one thing that stuck with me most from the whole six part series is what he said next.

“I thought of my wife and family and was overcome with shame. An interview that seemed crucial hours earlier now seemed absurd and reckless.”

This led to me asking myself, what am I doing that might seem absurd or reckless?

Yes, that's me laying on the tracks by the sign that says not to lay on the tracks.
Yes, that's me, taking an absurd risk by laying on the tracks under the sign that says not to lay on the tracks.

In last week’s blog post, I embraced taking risks. I said, “Taking chances is the only path to success.” I praised the efforts of two young entrepreneurs, Emily Fielitz and Jean Boen, who “bet the ranch” by starting their company (Juxtapose) in this down economy.

And I will always believe that taking wise financial risks, making gutsy career moves and having the determination to try new things is the only way to get ahead. But, taking risks with my family and failing those I love most is never worth the risk.

In my pursuit of career success, I know that I’ve not always been a perfect father or husband. I know that I haven’t always been there with the kind of patience and attention that would show them they are #1 in my life. I know that at times I’ve asked family to support my work, not used work (as it was meant) to make a better home for my family.

I live in fear of ending of ending my life and realizing that I failed to live up to what I claim is important, “God, family and work.” I live in fear of looking back over my life and realizing that the way I acted seemed to show that my priorities were “Work, family, God.”

I never want to be in a situation where looking back over my decisions overcomes me by shame. While I admire David for admitting to such feelings, my prayer for myself is that I will make the kind of decisions that allow me to avoid the same fate.
Galen Lehman
Galen Lehman, President, Lehman’s

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PS – David Rohde and the two Afghans held with him ultimately escaped. Read the full story by clicking here.

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