Posts Tagged ‘dedication’


July 16th, 2009

Crazy Horse MonumentIf you’re not from the Mid-West, chances are that you have never heard of the Crazy Horse Memorial.  This massive monument is dedicated to Crazy Horse, a doughty warrior of the Oglala Lakota tribe.  It is carved from the Thunderhead Mountain, a seventeen mile drive from Mount Rushmore.  It is of epic proportions – when finished, it will become the world’s largest statue at 563 feet high and 641 feet long.  To put this in perspective, the statue will be taller than the Giza Pyramids and the head of Crazy Horse will encompass an area greater than all of Mount Rushmore.

dsc_0725But the truly amazing thing here is not how massive the monument is, but how sculptor Korczak Ziółkowski dedicated 34 years of his life from 1948 to his death in 1982 to this project.  In 1947, he moved to South Dakota, built a log cabin at the the present Thunderhead Mountain site, and started blasting away millions of tons of rock.  Along the way, he married, fathered ten children, and grew a beard reminiscent of Rip Van Winkle.  He endured four spinal operations, heart bypass surgery, and countless broken bones but nonetheless, stayed course and continued working on the memorial.  Because he had the foresight to know that it would never be finished within his lifetime, he incorporated his children to help him. Today, Korczak is buried at the base of the mountain and his surviving wife, Ruth Ziolkowski, manages the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation while seven of his ten children continue working on this project.

Korczak had one thing in common with the great movers and shakers in history: dedication. Martin Luther King Jr. and William Wilburforce knew that the causes they campaigned for were bigger than themselves and would continue beyond their lifetimes, so they dedicated their lives to the cause.

I am reminded of what Glen Lewis told me in Washington D.C.:

If you’re not ready to die for what you believe in, you’re wasting your time.

In other words, in whatever you do, if you aren’t willing to expend significant time and energy, your attempts will be feckless and your dreams will never be realized. A TV producer I met in New Hampshire told me that he wanted to make a difference, to change the world and impact others.  The only way to do this is to dedicate yourself to the cause.  Anything less will be a mediocre effort that will yield mediocre results.

, ,