Monday, February 23, 2009


I read The Glass Castle on Saturday. It’s a memoir by Jeanette Walls about her very unique upbringing. Suffice it to say that this woman is a survivor. For those out there who are readers, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, it got me thinking. There are some people who “go far” who have been given much. There are those who go far who haven’t been given much at all. Subsequently, there are people who have been given everything in the world, and yet seem to go nowhere. And those who never break out of the negative cycle into which they were born. Why? Because a lot or a little (and I’m not just talking about financial support here), it seems to be a mysterious outside factor that makes the difference. Some people just have an inner…well…"rrrooooaaarrr" for lack of a better or more eloquent word.

No matter what life throws their way, they find a way to keep going. To keep their head high and their options open. To rise above and not become bitter or discouraged. It reminds me of a story I come back to every now and again.

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.

A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began.

Honestly, no one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. People in the crowd shouted statements such as: "Oh, WAY too difficult! They will NEVER make it to the top." or "Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!"

The tiny frogs began collapsing one by one. Except for those who, in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher. The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult! No one will make it!" More tiny frogs got tired and gave up, and eventually only one continued higher and higher and higher. This one wouldn't give up!

At the end, everyone else had given up climbing the tower...except for the one tiny frog who (after a big effort) was the only one who reached the top!

Naturally, all of the other tiny frogs wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it. A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal. It turned out that the winner was DEAF!

The frog story reminds me of the power of words. Everything you hear and read will affect your actions! Likewise, the things you say will have an effect on others’.

*A lightbub turns on somewhere in Regina’s head* You know, The crowd doesn’t have to pull you down. I remember, in High School it was actually useful to have a rambunctious crowd…whether or not they were cheering for our team. If they were, it fired us up. If they were cheering for the other side, it fired us up. Either way, the noise of the crowd drove us on. And in the same vein, we would all huddle together before the game and get our collective ROAR on. And even if, as individuals, we weren’t feeling all that fantastic, by the time we hit the field we were all ready to take down any tower that stood in our way.

But sometimes you don’t have the luxury of a team. Sometimes the crowd won’t help you. Sometimes you just have to realize you have a ROAR all your own and you have to just keep climbing your tower – whatever that tower is. One of my favorite quotes is: “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.” (H. Jackson Browne) And you know, it’s good to remember that just because you’re not on someone else’s road, you’re not lost either.

Sometimes we all need to remember this little frog: Turn a deaf ear to all the criticisms. Don’t be lazy if you’ve been given much. Don’t be held back if you’ve been given little. Let the roar of the crowd fade to the background and encourage the inner “ROOOAAARRR” of your heart. Just keep jumping toward that tower.

Don't ever give up on a dream due to the amount of time it will take to achieve it. The time will pass anyway. ~ Russ Ebsen

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