Never Quit

Quote

“I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up.  Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things.  If you simple didn’t give up, you would outlast the people who came on the bus with you.”                                                                                                 – Harrison Ford

I am amazed that the seemingly pervasive philosophy spreading throughout this great nation and even the world is one of quitting.  If George Washington had quit would we be paying taxes to the Queen?  If Winston Churchill had quit would the worlds population be blond haired and blue eyed and would we be speaking German or Russian?  If  Christopher Columbus had quit would America be the greatest nation in the world?

Quitting is easy.

It’s easy to roll over and go back to sleep when the alarm goes off.

It’s easy to relinquish control of the day (or night) to the television.

It’s easier to run away from a hard marriage than it is to find ways to make it work.

It’s easier to settle for the meager subsistence the government can provide than it is to make and follow dreams.

It’s easier to let the story you want to write languish in your mind than it is to sit down and make it live.

It’s easier to chug a super size coke and put away a triple decker fat burger than it is to wash down a healthy salad with a cup of water.

It’s easier to say “I really don’t look that bad” than it is to spend forty five minutes on the tread mill.

Harrison Ford could have avoided the disappointment that comes from rejection and walked away from his dream of appearing on the silver screen.  He didn’t.  He didn’t quit. He convinced someone, sometime, that he had it, consequently he became one of the most popular and highly sought after actors.

Quitting is easy but the rewards of persistence are euphoric!!

Victory or Defeat

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win great triumphs, even checkered by failure  than to join the ranks of those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”                                                       – Teddy Roosevelt

My father was a sheep rancher who lived in the day when his home on the range was a “motor home”  propelled by an unusual team.  The quarter horse, Snip, was dependable and trustworthy.  The other half of the team was a big eared mule who was a master at working within self-imposed limits on his personal achievement.  The round-top, canvas covered wagon was father’s home.  A second small, compact wagon (commissary) contained extra supplies including hay and grain for the team, water, etc. and was connected to the back of the wagon with a small chain.  When it was time to move the team pulled them both.

Although indolent, father gave the mule credit for being smart but the animal used his intelligence to cultivate his laziness.

Whenever the camp was moved and the road became steep the mule would cease to pull.  Somehow Blackie knew the load could be lightened if father unhooked the commissary.  The frustrating ritual was for father to unhook the commissary, move the wagon beyond the “obstacle,” come back and get the commissary, hook it to the wagon again and move on.  This pattern persisted until one day father tricked the mule.  When the mule stopped as the train approached a steep incline in the road, father set the brake, wrapped the reins around the handle and stepped down from the wagon.  He walked to the back of the wagon, rattled the chain that connected the commissary and then climbed back into his seat.  He released the brake and slapped the reins on the backs of the animals and up the hill they went.  The mule never knew what hit him.

Father’s message to his family came not through preaching but through his example.  Within the true story of the mule lay a message that inspired me to move beyond the natural instinct to settle for mediocrity.

Happiness comes when, at the end of the day, we can say we reached a little higher, ran a little faster, smiled a little brighter and helped someone else along the way and that we did it by rising above the desire to please self. Perhaps we just need someone to, on occasion, rattle our chain.

 

I’m Trying

I watch and listen and think and wonder and then watch and listen and think again, seeking hope on hope that this president will reveal something to make me honor him.  I keep coming up empty.  His speech on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech had minor moments but was flat and uninspiring.  Either you’ve got it or you don’t.  Martin Luther King had it.  Barrak Hussein Obama does not.  King could have been a statesman, he was well on his way, but his brilliant life ended prematurely and tragically.  When is the African American community going to produce a man of his caliber…someone who can carry them out of the cesspool of poverty and be a uniter, not a divider.  Certainly not Barak Obama or Jesse Jackson or the race baiting, hate monger, money grubbing egocentric Al Sharpton.  Contrary to what the race hate peddlers would have all of us believe, whites want black Americans to succeed and they want them to succeed learning the same principles of hard work, honesty, loyalty, education and self-sufficiency that built this great nation.