“We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, ‘Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone’s plea…’ The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.” Joan Wester Anderson
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day…” Charles R. Swindoll
Yesterday, I saw the black and white poster, shown below, with the following words written boldly on it: You’ve only got three choices in life: Give Up, Give in, or Give it all you’ve got. I couldn’t help but think back to some of the life choices I’ve made; good and rotten ones just like everyone else. Yet, we get up, again and again, and give it all we’ve got. Every day, we make big and small choices; each with consequences that reverberate like a pebble in a pond, affecting others and creating results. It is important that we choose wisely and be prepared for the outcome. As I considered the words, Baldwin’s short story came to mind, and I have shared it below in three parts. The final choice is always ours to make. Enjoy it!
Don’t Give Up…
The Choice Of Hercules by James Baldwin via readbookonline
When Hercules was a fair-faced youth, and life was all before him, he went out one morning to do an errand for his stepfather. But as he walked his heart was full of bitter thoughts; and he murmured because others no better than himself were living in ease and pleasure, while for him there was naught but a life of labor and pain.
As he thought upon these things, he came to a place where two roads met; and he stopped, not certain which one to take.
The road on his right was hilly and rough; there was no beauty in it or about it: but he saw that it led straight toward the blue mountains in the far distance.
The road on his left was broad and smooth, with shade trees on either side, where sang an innumerable choir of birds; and it went winding among green meadows, where bloomed countless flowers: but it ended in fog and mist long before it reached the wonderful blue mountains in the distance. Story contd below.
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan
“No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That’s how your whole life will feel some day. This is all practice. None of this matters. We’re just warming up.” Chuck Palahniuk
Just as some would say that failure is not an option, giving in is also not an option that is going to help us in life. When we spend some time getting to know others and ourselves, we feel bolder, stronger and courageous. Remember the sensations of feeling bold and strong next time because when things are tough, we can turn inside and reach for the blessings. More Baldwin Story contd below.
Don’t Give In…
Contd from above James Baldwin Story
While the lad stood in doubt as to these roads, he saw two fair women coming toward him, each on a different road. The one who came by the flowery way reached him first, and Hercules saw that she was as beautiful as a summer day.
Her cheeks were red, her eyes sparkled; she, spoke warm, persuasive words. “O noble youth,” she said, “be no longer bowed down with labor and sore trials, but come and follow me, I will lead you into pleasant paths, where there are no storms to disturb and no troubles to annoy. You shall live in ease, with one unending round of music and mirth; and you shall not want for anything that makes life joyous–sparkling wine, or soft couches, or rich robes, or the loving eyes of beautiful maidens. Come with me, and life shall be to you a day-dream of gladness.”
By this time the other fair woman had drawn near, and she now spoke to the lad. “I have nothing to promise you,” said she, “save that which you shall win with your own strength. The road upon which I would lead you is uneven and hard, and climbs many a hill, and descends into many a valley and quagmire. The views which you will sometimes get from the hilltops are grand and glorious, but the deep valleys are dark, and the ascent from them is toilsome. Nevertheless, the road leads to the blue mountains of endless fame, which you see far away on the horizon. They cannot be reached without labor; in fact, there is nothing worth having that must not be won by toil. If you would have fruits and flowers, you must plant them and care for them; if you would gain the love of your fellow men, you must love them and suffer for them; if you would enjoy the favor of Heaven, you must make yourself worthy of that favor; if you would have eternal fame, you must not scorn the hard road that leads to it.” Rest of Story Contd Below!
The rest of Baldwin’s story continues below. Which path would you have chosen?