Monday, June 14, 2010

Two Evil Words

My husband and I recently discussed those days when it seems as though nothing is ever going to be easy.  Over the past school year, we've had more than our fair share of them.  Our conversation touched on the feeling that each time we were back on our feet, something pushed us backward and knocked us down again.  We laughed, cried (during some of the moments, not the discussion), and marveled at how much people can endure.

How many of you know someone, friends or family members, who have been through some very big challenges in their lives?  I doubt that any of you are saying, "NOT ME!"  Was it was a battle with cancer, being unemployed, or some other obstacle that they (or you) had to overcome?   What would have happened if they had given up before they started?  How would things have been different if they used those two evil words, "I can't!"

Today as my sons struggled at their first swimming lesson, my youngest said those two evil words.  He was scared and didn't want to try.  His swim instructor, Mrs. M., didn't let him give up.  She pushed him to keep trying.  While my oldest was also a bit frightened, and panicked a couple of times, he was very excited to discover that he could do more than he first imagined. 

Afterwards, with my two boys wrapped in Transformer beach towels, I walked to the car and thought about the challenge placed before my sons.  This experience is more than just a swimming lesson.  For these two young children, they have to overcome their fears so that they may accomplish what they have set out to do.  If they don't find it in themselves to wade into the water, they won't have a chance at their goal.  My boys may not master the sport of swimming during two weeks of lessons, but they will have dipped their feet into the pool as beginners.

I'd be amazed to hear of a person who has gone through this life without feeling frightened.  Being afraid to fail can be disabling, but we don't have to let it be.  Can you imagine what life would be like if people didn't rise above their fears?

What is holding you back today?  Are you afraid of what might happen?  What might not happen?  What fears have you been able to overcome?  What was the result?

Courage is not the absence of fear, 
but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.  
~Ambrose Redmoon

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. 
~Robert F. Kennedy

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
~Robert H. Schuller


  1. Great quotes! They will eventually get the swimming thing. It took my son 2 1/2 years, I think. :O)

  2. I think it's so good for our children to learn to face their fears when they're young. It's such an important way to prepare them for facing them when they're adults. Because as you said, we'll all have fears to overcome!

  3. I agree, swimming lessons (or even sports in general) help kids overcome their fears. It's hard on mom, though! I don't want them to be frightened or feel inadequate, but sometimes that's what we have to go through.