Lessons from John D. Rockefeller Jr.
We just returned from a great 5-day trip to the “Big Apple” and found that it is truly, the city that never sleeps!
New York is such a wonderful city; full of history, lore, and energy. On our itinerary was Rockefeller Center.
This famous landmark was developed by John D Rockefeller Jr and was originally supposed to house the Metropolitan opera. But, when the Stock Market crashed in 1929, the deal fell through and the building was almost never built.
Rockefeller had a tough decision to make. In the end, he chose to move forward and personally funded the entire project without any planned tenants. A bold move!
As the construction of the tower progressed, it created over 7,500 jobs for almost 10 years smack in the middle of the Great Depression. It became a landmark and a symbol of hope in a time of great adversity and hardship. Eventually, Rockefeller found his first tenant, and Radio City Music Hall was born.
I found it ironic that when we went in for the tour and climb to the Top of the Rock, as it is called, it was bright and sunny. But by the time we reached the observation deck, a very powerful downpour had ensued and the visibility dropped to a few hundred feet.
As we worked through our disappointment of not getting any pictures of Central Park, the Empire State Building or a dramatic sunset, something amazing happened. After about fifteen minutes, the storm dissipated. The suns rays broke through the clouds, and it seemed as if the light of heaven shone through on the New York City skyline. We were rewarded with a full double rainbow over Manhattan! Spectacular!
Of course many factors played a part in John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s success in this project. But above all, he had a vision and a dream that extended beyond himself.
Before riding the elevator to the top, there is an interpretation of a Bible verse Rockefeller lived by:
“Unto he who much is given, much shall be required.”
Rockefeller exemplified and lived this philosophy. He was resolute and forged ahead in the middle of the Depression, with no guarantee of a tenant for the building. And in the end, he made his vision come to life.
We have all been given much, in terms of our own special gifts and talents. And in fact, much shall be required of us to create a life of purpose and meaning –even when things are hard or uncertain; especially then.
It is true life stories like Rockefeller Center’s history that make New York such a special place. They exemplify living a life on your own terms, having dreams, and making them come true.
Build your own skyscraper today!!! and enjoy the view; others will too!
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