In these challenging times there are many stories to give us inspiration, to make us think, to remind us life is not always easy and that there are many forks that we can take along the way. We can choose to take the safe road, we can choose to climb a mountain, or we can choose to build a road. The story I am going to tell you spans over ten years and is about a two friends and there struggles.
In 1996 Shawn and Scott meet in college.
Scott, was a Air Force brat who was actually in more schools then houses. He was in at least 8 different schools. He like the outdoors, camping and is an Eagle Scout with over 22 years of dedicated service to Scouting. He is an amazing leader and can pull off amazing feats with nothing more then his brain and a few willing souls. However, it is important for you to know that Scott also faces many difficult challenges in his daily life such as ADHD, dyslexia, and problems interacting socially. Yet everyone who knows him will say he seems normal to them.
Shawn, was raised by his Grandfather. Shawn has strong political views and is high strong which can make him seem aggressive.
They both had an interest in computers and took a number of the same classes. Before and after class they would have a chance to talk for a few minutes or to try to avoid each other as they have opposite views of the world around them. They were in all senses of the word exact opposites. The two most unlikely people to become friends.
Over time and sharing a few classes together the two of them grew closer together. Then one day Shawn showed Scott a book he had about programming websites. He then showed Scott a website he was making. Scott's fascination took off as he learned everything he could about web development. Shawn kept changing his focus and never really mastered any one thing, but instead knew a little something about everything. From there Scott started working on a hobby site called InsaneScouter. Over the next few years InsaneScouter grew larger and larger.
Shorty after meeting Scott, Shawn realized he was different, especially as Scott started talking him reluctantly, into helping him with a web based business Scott wanted to start. Scott even had two others involved and a tons of good ideas and lots spreadsheets to back up what he was saying. However this turned out to be more of a learning experience that never went anywhere, still what they learned is still benefiting them today.
There were many times Scott and Shawn would get into fights and stop talking to each other. Usually relating to one or another project they were working on for some client. At times these spats lasted a few days other times they lasted months. The fights were usually a result of either a differences in view, or the speed the project was being done at.
During the biggest of these fights, which lasted a year, Shawn's Grandfather died, the man who had raised him. It took months for Shawn to recover from this tragic loss, during which time he meet Stephanie who he started dating. Eventually he married her. Shawn decided to email Scott to break the news about his Grandfather, getting married and to say he had a baby girl on the way. Needless to say Scott emailed him back.
About a month before the baby was born Shawn surprised Scott by asking him to be the babies Godfather. Over the next few years Shawn had two more babies and asked Scott to be the Godfather of each. To this day they have not had a fight that listed more then a few days.
About a year after they became friends again, Scott decides to go into business with one of there old clients. A business to help self published authors better market and sell there books. During this time Shawn fell into tough times and Scott hired him to help with the business. Over two years the business made no profit, so the investors pulled out. Most of the business expenses were under Scott's name, so he got stuck with them when the investor pulled out.
As if this was not bad enough, while running this business Scott, and his big heart, decided to help a man who did odd jobs around the neighborhood. The man had a good story, a girlfriend, a infant daughter and a son. This man turned out to live on the street, his girlfriend and infant daughter at the girlfriends sisters house and the son was in foster care. So Scott offered him a place to stay and a few meals. In return the man took advantage of Scott, allowed his girlfriend to move into the house, left drugs in the house, took a company check, stole over a thousand dollars worth of stuff and took advantage of good Christian hospitality. When the man was finally kicked out, as a result of stealing the check, he threatened to come back with his friends and empty the place out. This left Scott a bit jaded toward helping anyone in the future.
When the business failed, Scott was forced to move back in with his parents to sleep on a fold out sofa and live out of a suite case. Over a year later Scott is still paying off the debt from this business and still sleeping on that fold out sofa. However Scott does not consider this a loss or a waste. He says the things he learned from the experience will help him for rest of his life.
Nor has he or Shawn given up. Even though neither of them are in stable, secure postion in life they are still moving on. Shawn's wife does not make enough to cover the family expenses, so they have to rely on state programs to help them get by. Scott does not have to resources to get back on his own feet and into his own place away from the lumpy sofa bed. They believe that together they can make a better life for themselves while not relying on anyone but themselves.
As a result they are at it again now putting there efforts into InsaneScouter, a international Scouting project providing thousands of program resources and services to help Scouts, Guides, Girl Scouts, Leaders and Parents from around the world.
There life, there experience there story is not over, life goes on. Their struggles and their experiences let us understand that falling into life's pit is not the end. Scott and Shawn are not giving up or complaining about what life has dealt them. Instead they are building a ladder out of weeds and are climbing out of the pit one step at a time.