The ‘ould Conspiracy

Whether we think we can’t or think we can, that is what we will do.

Thinking One Can

Thinking One Can

A little girl commented, “Dad you seem to know which people are big-hearted, good-hearted, and even those who have a heart of gold. How can I know?” His answer, “Just listen to what they say.”

It’s true.

From the abundance of the heart, we speak.

While the words big, good, and gold are subject to the foibles of semantics, the ‘ould words are definitive in their usage and meaning. When we hear them, a judgment is being made. The words are: Could, Should, and Would.

In fact, there are three degrees of judgment:

  • Of Others
  • Of Ourselves
  • Of Providence

Judgment of Others

Human nature loves to find the faults in others. If we think our discomfort is caused by another person, then our response becomes almost a religious experience.

Magically, we are shrouded with the belief that somehow we are absolved from any responsibility for the situation.

When the ‘ould words are used in judgment of what someone else could, should, and would do, I think of the adage, “We get what we allow.”

Judgment of Ourselves

Less egregious although just as damaging is when the ‘ould words are used by us against ourselves. As Pogo acknowledged, “I have seen the enemy and he is us.” In combination with “I could have …”, “I should have …”, and “I would have …”, listen for how many times the individual saying those things also utters the little word Try.

While the four-letter word Can’t is clear in communicating inaction, the three-letter word Try is sinister. At best it is misdirection — and at worst, it is manipulative.

As proof to this premise, do this exercise with me. Take a pen into your hand. Now, stretch your arm straight out, parallel with the floor, and “try” to drop the pen. One of two things will happen: 1) You will either hold onto the pen — or, 2) you will drop it.  No try to it.  It’s a matter of will.

We either don’t or we do.

Judgment of Providence

The final — and, only legitimate — usage of the ‘ould words is when we’re communicating the contrast of our frailties to the mysteries of Providence.

For example, this is a favorite explanation of Commitment:

Until one is committed
There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
Always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
There is one elementary truth,
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas
And splendid plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
Then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
That would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision
Raising in one’s favor all manner
Of unforeseen incidents and meetings
And material assistance,
Which no person could have dreamt
Would have come their way. 

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

While the temptation is strong to find all the reasons why we couldn’t, shouldn’t, or wouldn’t do something, there really is no excuse.

Ours is not to judge — ours is to do.

My favorite childhood book was The Little Engine That Could. It is a story about optimism and hard work. The underlying theme is of a stranded train that is unable to find an engine willing to take it over a mountain to its destination. Only the little blue engine is willing.

While repeating the mantra of I think I can, I think I can, I think I can …, the Little Engine overcomes a seemingly impossible task.

Whether we think we can’t or think we can, that is what we will do.

All We Do Begins With A Thought.

kimfoard.com

Credits:
The Little Engine
Book Cover Illustration

Power Of One

Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.

Number 1We have all witnessed the spectacle of someone in front of a crowd banging on their drum, making noise and giving the appearance of a parade — when in reality, they were being run out of town. Those who once followed are now in pursuit.

The scene captures the essence of human nature: we’re constantly moving toward something.

The ancient scholars gave the instruction that we cannot serve two masters. We will love one and hate the other. The one who hung one sun and one moon in the sky of our unique earth — as a reminder that there is one designer and master builder — is known simply as “I Am.

Acknowledging that higher power allows us, as an instrument of His goodness, to boldly proclaim, “I’m the leader of one and boss of me.

At the beginning of each new day is a reminder of our limitations, as we subject ourselves to the law of gravity and put on our pants — one leg at a time. Then, with a knee bent, we remember the one great commandment, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And, one similar, “Love your neighbor as yourself.

A working definition of love might be, “Love is patient, Love is kind, It rejoices with the truth, Always protects, Always trusts, Always hopes, and Always perseveres.” The result of that effort will always be growth in ourselves and others.

The secret mantra becomes, “If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me.” Because, it is impossible to drag — or, ride on the coattails of — anyone else, to any destination.

In the course of our journey, we will discover ‘one more‘ as the difference between failure and success. Our greatest success comes when we commit to a singular focal point —  able and willing to give our all for that one choice.

We can choose to make the world better for days by planting flowers. We can improve it for years by planting trees. And, we can change it forever by planting ideas in the minds of those we touch.

From one tiny seed grows much. Whether a bountiful garden, productive orchard, or fruitful life, it all begins with a single thought. Individually, we have the right to choose.

More than a right, it is a responsibility. As students of life, we begin with our choice of teachers, coaches, mentors, and heroes. At some point in our growth, we become the teacher and accept the mantle of leadership to guide another on the path they have chosen.

To do so, we become their servant. As a shepherd cares for a flock, we lead by gentle nudges. It is then we understand the story of twelve guys debating among themselves who would be the greatest — and, the Master replied, “Whoever wants to be first must take the last place and be the servant of everyone else.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has power, genius, and magic in it.

www.kimfoard.com