Stand Tall

“That’s life folks, there are happy stories and sad stories,” says a man whose lines on his face illustrate his years of expressive storytelling.  He is highly articulate and speaks with a clear Irish brogue that could grab anyone’s attention.

He goes by the name of Batt Burns and storytelling is just one of the many caps he has worn throughout his lifetime. He currently works as a tour guide taking groups throughout Ireland sharing his wealth of knowledge about ‘his country’ as he calls it.

He resides in the little town of Sneem on the coast of southern Ireland but his wide eyes have seen many places across the globe. He is humble about his past but every so often he shares a snippet of his accomplishments and you just know he is someone who has contributed greatly to this world.

He dresses each and every day with purpose and on his feet he wears sensible walking shoes. As if to let the universe know, he is ready for any mission life may hand him on that given day. He recites poems and literary verses at the drop of a hat, almost taunting the idea of becoming forgetful with age.  In addition, his sense of humor is on point and he follows up several of his jokes with “put that in your pipe and smoke it,” which makes it that much better.

Oddly enough, what I find most intriguing about this man is his posture.  He stands tall for his age which makes his presence command a room.  The lack of a hump in his back makes his life seem burdenless, in a way that exudes confidence and a happy spirit.

I believe the secret to this stance, can be achieved through living a life well-traveled. There is a certain distinction between those who travel verse those who tour. From what I’ve noticed of those well-traveled, they seem to stand a little taller than the rest.  Not in a way where they look down upon others but rather in a way where they stand proud of what they have accomplished.

When I listen to Batt’s stories and look into his dark eyes, there is a spark. To me the twinkle in his eye  was gained through his travels, where he learned to find comfort in the present and acceptance in himself. Most importantly however, he learned to trust in the world and lead with the most curious eyes.

So I suggest to you, to take a lesson from Mr. Burns on your upcoming travels or even throughout your daily life. Take the time to do things along this crazy ride we call  life, that will let you look back one day and know that above everything else, you made yourself proud.

Batt Burns

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