I used to wear this t-shirt that said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Sometimes it is true.

Sometimes it is not.

It was certainly an appropriate t-shirt for a young lad like myself. It helped me believe that perseverance and hard work could make up for what lacked in stature and talent.

Except for when it didn’t.

You see, I once had a little league coach who approached my dad after a game. He said that if some of his best players had half the amount of heart that I did, they would be all-stars. I remember standing there confused hearing him say that. I didn’t know weather to take it as a sincere compliment or an act of humiliation.

I’ll take it as both.

Stories of domineering conquest and endless victory are boring. What really keeps us awake during a movie is when the underdog takes the lead.

Maybe that is why I tend to cry every time I watch the movie Rudy.

Maybe it is why my name is David.

Maybe it is why I live in Jackson, Michigan.

Sometimes the fight in the dog doesn’t result in winning in a dogfight, but is that the measure of success for a dog? Or, are the lives and legacies of dogs better defined by loyalty and love for their companions?

I like to think the latter.

So, whenever I hear people criticize Jackson for its prison, its high rates of poverty, or where it ranks in comparison to other cities in the beautiful state of Michigan, I have to remind myself that it is what we measure that defines success.

When I hear a success story of a startup in Silicon Valley, I know it happens usually as a result of good fortune, luck, provision and gut-wrenching effort. But when I hear a story of success, triumph, entrepreneurism and service like I often do through the Jackson Young Professionals, they are ones full of heart that are truly worth paying attention to.

Thank you, for fighting for the good of this community.

It is beautiful.

To me, that is a measure of success worth fighting for.

By: Dave Goodrich