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  • Writer's pictureDave Griffith

"This is your time"

I played hockey. I quit when I was 37. I remain a fan. To me, it is still the greatest game on the planet. If you are a fan and if you are old enough, you know where you were in 1980.

My wife and I were in the car on I95 driving to a friend’s house for dinner, and we were listening on the radio to the 1980 Olympics and the semi-final game between the USA and the Soviet Union. In a match for the ages, the US beat the Soviet national team and went on to win the Gold medal. It is a game they had no business winning base on the previous meeting and history.

As the game wound down, we pulled to the side of the road to listen. I wasn’t sure the game would be on with the folks we were visiting. Interestingly up and down I95 cars were pulled off to the side doing the exact same thing. At the end, lights flashed and horns honked.

Herb Brooks coached the 1980 team. He was the last player cut from the 1960 team that also went on to win Gold. His and the team’s story is told in the movie Miracle on Ice. The scene on Brook’s legendary pre-game speech is a classic.

"If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game… Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players, every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time.”

“This is your time.” These words have a permanent residency in my brain. Much of what I have accomplished is based on a personal decision that this is my time.

When I decided to work for IBM.

When I went up to the pretest girl in the room and asked her out. Forty-five years later, we are still going out.

When I decided to leave the corporate world and join a family business.

When I got sober.

When I retired and joined ECS. And unretired.

You can choose to look at the odds and decide not to play. We have all done that. I have found that the most significant rewards come from doing the uncomfortable and in the face of conventional wisdom. Not all playing fields are level. Much of my work now is about creating level playing fields and access to opportunity for individuals where this is not the case. In the end, they and all of us need to respond and decide that this is our time in the face of adversity and challenge and act.

This moment is where faith in and experience kicks in. To face set back and come back. To know that the sun will come up and to bring your team along for the ride. To answer a call to service when you do not have time. To know that giving back is to get back. To love your neighbor as yourself and to love unconditionally. To know that a higher power drives more than we can comprehend. To accept that you were “meant to be here tonight.”

We do not have to accept things as they are. That is what makes us human. We can maintain, or we can drive change. It takes preparation and work, but it starts with the intentional decision that “This is your time.”

Is it?

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I have had a diverse career. Starting with IBM, ROLM, and MCI, then moving to The Modern Group, Ltd., and Episcopal Community Services. These days, I serve on several boards, both for-profit and nonpr


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