Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Perseverance, secret of all triumphs. Victor Hugo
Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout, along came the rain and washed the spider out. Along came the sun and dried up all the rain and itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.
This little poem has been going around and around my brain. It must be about thirty-five years ago I saw a fellow Toastmaster give a speech about Itsy Bitsy Spider. She was a teacher who had just come back from a trip to Europe and a month later she died of cancer. There aren’t a lot of speeches I remember but I remember hers, is it because she died a month later?
Sometimes we pick up a book and it is precisely what we need to read, or watch a movie that is exactly what we need to see. We don’t even all agree on what was in the book or the film because we are each touched differently by what we read and see.
We are all impacted in our lives by people we meet, and we impact others. The impact we make counts. Most of us will never impact the world in any great way; no big or small invention will have our name on it. We won’t impact people outside of our circle, but our circle impacts other circles, whether that circle is our family, community, or workplace. It is part of the whole as are we.
We all have our contribution to make and I know we sometimes look at the contribution some are making and ask ourselves, what kind of a contribution is that? We may see some people on their worst day and see some people on their best day and we might be totally wrong about who in the end makes the biggest contribution.
There are many conflicting ideas about how society should be built, what we as a society should value, and how we should deal with the challenges of our time. I feel sure we’ll go up the water spout a few times while we are figuring this out. We hope people we elect have answers that we don’t have, and we hear people expound on theories they never have to put into practice so they can continue to expound on them. I was listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer in a podcast he said, “When I didn’t have children I had lots of theories about raising children, now I have children but no theories.”
In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world, all rests on perseverance. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A society based on principles we all believe in is a good place to start. One of the things many people believe is the rich are getting richer, some believe the poor are getting poorer, but others believe the poor are also getting richer. We become a victim of our success and I believe that is what a lot of our housing problem is. Everyone wants to live in a few places, the prices are being driven up, demand outstrips supply, and we are playing musical chairs for housing.
Is the antidote to this a less successful society? Who wants that? What if we are always somewhere on that water spout and life looks different to us depending on whether the sun is shining or the rain is falling? We might find it easy to be too optimistic when the sun is shining and too pessimistic when the rain is falling. What if we need to find balance knowing in every life a little rain will fall, what if all of us will face challenges in our lives, but we don’t know what part of life those challenges will come?
What if knowing we can keep on keeping on is the greatest attitude we can have, and we will live through it all the bitter, the sweet, the happy, and the sad? No one only gets a sweet life, and would it be a great life if we did, we wouldn’t even know how good we had it because we’d have nothing to compare it to.
It seems some of the greatest people have lived through the greatest challenges. Those challenges made them who they are. Should we really want soft and easy lives, or should we look for ways to take on a load in life, carry it with dignity, and make something better?
I’ve come to think of marriage and raising children as a load we carry, and sometimes the load is easy and gives us more than it asks of us, and sometimes it asks more than it gives, but if we give up in the hard times we will never get back to the easy fun times and we will forever have a fractured family. Sometimes a fractured family may be better than a chaotic broken one that stays together, and only the people in it may know for sure which is which, and even they might not be sure.
Imagine, it’s not just itsy bitsy spider going up the spout but the whole family. It might be easier to scramble up it by ourselves, but when we get to the top we are alone. If we can bring our family with us, it will be challenging, and the journey will be longer, but when we get to the top, and we are all together, how much more joyous will it be?
Don’t give up before the miracle happens. Fannie Flagg
Success seems to be connected with action Successful men keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit. Conrad Hilton
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas A. Edison
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