Reece Gardner: You are as young as your faith and as old as your doubt
In my column next week, I plan to, among other things, provide an update on the effort to place the proposed five constitutional amendments on the November ballot. I also want to talk about the sales-tax referendum, which we will be deciding in November's election.
But for today, I will concentrate on life and, more importantly, how we look at it and live it.
I received a lot of response to my column last week on Miracles, which I appreciate, and today's column is along those same lines.
In my many years of teaching The Dale Carnegie Course, my most enjoyable and most meaningful session was the one on inspiration, such as the story about a man, who was passing by some elephants and was puzzled that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front legs. No chains, No cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from these bonds, however, for some reason, they did not. The man saw a trainer nearby and asked why these huge animals did not attempt to get away.
“When they are very young and much smaller we use this same size rope to restrain them and, at that age, it works,” the trainer said. “They try many times early on to break away, but to no avail, and so they become conditioned to believe that they can't break away. They believe that the rope can hold them, so they just stop trying to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals were obviously strong enough, if they made the effort, to pull the whole circus down, and yet they were allowing a small rope to restrain them. We all know people like that who go through life believing that they can't do something, simply because they failed at it once before. Most people have failed at something over the years, but many of them begin to think that they are just not capable of doing a certain thing and so they accept failure. The truth is we can do most anything we set our hearts and minds to accomplish.
A saying I like is “Things usually work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.”
One of my heroes, Gen. Douglas MacArthur put it this way: “Life is not measured simply by a number of years, it is rather a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt. As young as your hope, as old as your despair. As young as your courage, as old as your fear. In everyone's heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of faith, hope and courage, so long are you young. But when the wires are all down and the heart is filled with the snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then, and then only, are you grown old.”
Let's be happy today!