Hope ~ Poem by Czeslaw Milosz

Hope

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
that sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all thing you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter. But you’re sure it’s there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say that we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
There are the ones who have no hope.
They think the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hand of thieves.

 Czeslaw Milosz

Today’s Quote on What We Think

You are what you think. So just think big, believe big, act big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big, love big and live big.

Andrew Carnegie

Quote for Today – November 14, 2017

“Come to the edge.’ ‘We can’t. We’re afraid.’ ‘Come to the edge.’ ‘We can’t. We will fall!’ ‘Come to the edge.’ And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.” ~ Guillaume Apollinaire

Discard The Doubters

This past week I flew from East Lansing, Michigan to O’Hara to catch another flight to San Antonio. While I waited for my plane in East Lansing, a graduate student at Michigan State University and I entered into a conversation. I asked about his studies. He told me he was changing fields because the field he wanted to enter was already full of people. I asked him if everyone was competent, a champion in the field. He said no, but his advisor suggested a shift in majors. I couldn’t convince him to follow his passion. He listened to “The Doubters.” Don’t listen to the doubters. Double down on your dream. Go all in. Get inspired with this short YouTube video.

Double Down on Your Dream

The Third-Grade Boy

The third-grade boy walked nearly a mile to school each day. He barely lived outside the school bus boundary. Each day he walked across the railroad tracks almost adjacent to the tenement building where he lived in a four-room flat with his brother and parents. He wore the only pair of pants and shoes he had. His mother washed his pants each night and hung them by the stove to dry.

He had no idea what he’d become. His mom and dad worked in nearby shoe factories. His favorite uncle was a career soldier in the army. Another uncle a mechanic. And, another a truck driver. His thoughts didn’t travel far beyond the limitations of his immediate experience. Until …

It all changed for him when he went to third grade. The school he attended had two third grade teachers. All second graders knew the best teacher was Miss Pope. She was young and pretty. The other teacher was Miss Thompson. She old, really old, maybe as old as the school as one boy put it. Worse, she was mean. Mean to the core. She didn’t know how to smile another of the third-grade boy’s buddies added.

During his final week in second-grade, he prayed he’d get Miss Pope. He prayed as hard as he prayed for anything. When he was handed his second-grade report card, his heart sunk. His final second-grade report card gave him the good news and bad news. The good news, he was promoted to third grade. The bad news, his third-grade teacher was Miss Thompson. The mean, unsmiling, old, really old Miss Thompson.

Miss Thompson stood by the doorway each morning and in her no-nonsense way, welcomed each child by name. The boy tried hard in her class, after all, she was the meanest teacher in school. No sense making an enemy right away. It was near October when Miss Thompson stopped the boy on his way into class. She grabbed hold of him by his shoulders. He looked at her wide-eyed. His mind racing to a small fight on the playground after school. He hoped no one ratted him out.  Miss Thompson bent over and looked into his eyes and said, “From today on, I’m going to say to you, ‘Good morning governor, because I believe one day, you’ll become governor of our state. Now, work hard and you’ll do it.”

The boy went to his desk and he worked hard for Miss Thompson. He was determined to become governor. Well, Miss Thompson retired ten years later and died a few years after she retired. But, the third-grade boy remembered her lesson. He didn’t become governor, but he worked hard, and he believed. He discovered hard work, determination, and a belief he was capable of doing something special made it all come true.

You never know when you touch a person. Encouraging a young person to dream the impossible, often turns the impossible into the possible. I know. I was the third-grade boy.

crossing the tracks