Was having lunch with Mark King, the CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf yesterday, when it hit me. I think it was right about the halfway point of munching down the yummy turkey sandwich that Britt had kindly brought up from the Taylor Made cafeteria.
The feeling reminded me of a moment in time while serving as a Marine, assigned to Battalion Landing Team 3/3 aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Fredrick. We were there to protect U.S. interests as part of a bloody civil war raging on in Beirut, Lebanon. On October 23, 1983 the sudden bombing of our U.S. barracks killed 241 Marine and Sailors had jarred us all into a surreal reality - we were fighting something much more devious and dangerous than we had thought. We were committed, and motivated and passionate to stand up to this threat. But despite all of the ability and talent and the resources we had, the burning desire and passion we all had could only do so much. We wanted so badly to do something. Some of us got to go ashore and fight back with our Marine counterparts but most of us were stuck floating off shore, watching all the action and feeling insignificant.
Then one day the Battleship USS New Jersey, sitting close to our starboard side, unleashed a massive projectile from her 16 inch guns. This was, we later learned, the first time that a 16 inch gun was fired anywhere in the world since 1969. We stood there in awe of her power. It felt like the whole sea jumped back 50 feet. One by one she fired off 11 of those projectiles and every time she fired one off I felt this incredible relief, this deep knowing that someone, that something on our side was delivering the message that I wanted to deliver, that all of my fellow Marines standing there with me needed to deliver, but couldn't.
That is the same feeling I got yesterday as I listened to Mark King, the CEO of a global company, talk to me about how he and the employee's of TaylorMade Golf are going to help equip us with the "big guns" so that we will be able to turn up the heat even more and stand up in a bigger and bolder way to this threat on our children and our families.
I thought 2010 was a banner year for us in terms of our impact around changing attitudes and rebuilding lives....but it isn’t anything compared to what 2011 will bring. The partnership with TaylorMade-adidas Golf fires off a redemptive and a glorious warning shot across the battlefield of homelessness here in San Diego and beyond. Indeed this is a very good thing.
I also heard Mark acknowledge yesterday that the threats on our children and on our communities are too big for one battleship, even with those massive 16 inch guns. We need more big guns. More boots on the ground. More investors willing to equip solutions driven organizations like ours with the resources needed to defeat family homelessness. Mark said in the documentary taping yesterday that Solutions for Change has the vision, the model and the plan that people in every community in America want and need. Mark concluded with these words: “This is what people have been searching for, to be part of a purpose driven movement that solves the problem. I hear people around me expressing a sense of relief that this is finally the right battle plan with the right attitudes and the right generals. All that is needed now are more people to get involved who want to solve this thing."