Ayn Rand has made a writing career of extolling success and making the case, as best she can, that making success is only a matter of effort. Everyone can do it if they have the willingness to work hard. Unless you and I have led a very sheltered life, we personally have known people who truly need help. Those of us who spent our work lives in education, have seen many who worked so extremely hard and just couldn’t match the ability of others.
We have a great variety of abilities don’t we? Some have wealthy parents and never really had to scratch out an income. Some were handsome and maybe tall like Ronald Reagan. Some had high I.Q’s. Good luck has been my mantra.
I couldn’t leave this topic without a bit of humor.
There is a cowboy song from my Montana days whose opening line is something like this: It’s hard to be humble when you are so great.
Mohammed Ali, the champion heavyweight boxer, used that line too: It is very hard to be humble if you are as great as me.
I like the opposite statement. I’ve kept the following for many years but it was written anonymously. Some truth to it too, if any of us every have the temptation to be so great that we are in fact think we are, Indispensable:
Sometime when you’re feeling important,
Sometime, when your ego’s in bloom,
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You’re the most qualified in the room,
Sometime when you feel like you’re going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow this simple instruction,
And see how it humbles your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to your wrist;
Pull it out, and the hole that’s remaining,
Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.
You may splash all you please as you enter,
You can stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find in a minute,
That it looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself, but remember,
There’s no indispensable man. (or woman)
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org