Thursday, October 4, 2012
There's a world empty and void of NO's. A place where I'll succeed because I never knew that I couldn't. But.... I have to run ahead of the crowd or live in the outlands in order not to hear them. A happy toothless woman in the back country of the Appalachians was asked by a photographer who found her shanty cabin one day. Why are you not depressed about your poverty? Her reply "What is poverty?"
I think of the thousands of runners and walkers participating in the Cooper River Bridge Run annually, particularly about the first person and the last to cross it. The first knew it made them a winner, the last knew they weren't, but that same finish line was there for the last to cross as well as the first.
So what inspires us as individuals? What motivates me? Motivational books, cd's? I've had my share. I could toss them all and never miss them with the exception of the one that inspires me the most, the ~Red Letter Edition~ Obvious flaws indicate that I am still working on that one as well.
My favorite motivational speakers have always been self-effacing with a rags to riches story. But Anthony Robbins, seriously bro? Mind control to walk over hot coals? The only time that worked was in the Old Testament and I'm not Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego.
When I finish, It's not going to be because I followed a guide book to the letter, I am going to look like I have been in the race. I am going to have scars from hitting every wall all the way ~UP~ and be questioned about the burns that look like I spent some time in Hell, which I will have to admit emphatically "Yes" to.
Yet, painfully so. My predictable motivator is ~NO~
I just refuse to get off the bus early. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. I believe there is another controversial section on that bus, it's the pull cord, the stop button that tells the driver to pull over. The button that makes you get off the bus too early, because someone told you that you couldn't get to your destination from there. If you let them, every person who says you can't is your new bus driver.
The best things that have ever happened to me have been because of a "NO." And, my biggest regrets in life have been because I pulled that bus cord early. I saw a quote this week on social media and was amazed at how many "Likes" it had. It went like this "I'd rather regret the things I did, than the things that I haven't done." Really? I'm all about living out loud, but their regrets must have been akin to getting a Big Mac instead of a pack of sliced apples at Mc D's. My regrets are HUGE! I don't want anymore. Like I said, follow the leader.
Here's a life example of what happens when a NO becomes a YES. My granny was in the hospital. Bad heart. The year, 1977. I dolled up my little 2 1/2 month old daughter to go meet her great granny. It was late when I got to the hospital. I missed visiting hours by ten minutes and was turned down at the nurses station. The nurse doing her job. "No Maam...you can't visit now. You will have to come back tomorrow." I pleaded "But, I can't come back tomorrow, I know it's past time, I promise I won't be but a minute" She just shook her head no.
In exasperation, I went the down the wrong hall, following a different exit sign. I passed a long hall that had the room numbers that included the one my granny was on. I eventually found another set of elevators. The doors opened and I pushed the button for ground floor. Which was where my heart was at the moment. I got to the bottom floor and looked at my sweet little baby's face grinning up at me. I unzipped my short little coat, slipped her inside. I played peek a boo with her for a minute and then hit the elevator button for the floor I just left.
I got off that floor and scurried down the hall with my baby zipped up in my coat. I reached her room safely out of view of the nurses station. I opened the door quietly. The lights were off except for a dimly lit bathroom light, Granny was in her silky jammies. She was easing back onto her bed. Her eyes got so wide when she saw me. I pushed my fingers to my lips and unzipped my jacket. I pulled my baby out and sat on the bed by her. We ooohhhed and ahhhed over her for minutes and then babies do what they do, they giggle, they laugh, they make noises. A nurse cracks open the door, she see's us and my granny holds a finger up in warning. The nurse holds up three warning fingers back at her and mouth's, three minutes. We kiss and hug and I leave. I never saw my granny again. She left for Davis, NC shortly after. She died four months later Feb, 26th 1978. No regrets.
"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows." Pope Paul VI, born on September 26, 1897.
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