October 2011

A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn’t, will find an excuse. – Stephen Dolley

For a mind that is willing, there is nothing impossible.

An old man lived in Minnesota. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his situation:

“Dear son, I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my potato garden this year. I hate to miss doing the garden, because your mother always loved planting them. I am just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were there, all my troubles will be over. I know you would dig the plot for me, if you weren’t in prison… Love, Dad.”

Shortly the old man received this telegram, “For Heaven’s sake, Dad, don’t dig up the garden! That’s where I buried the GUNS!!”

At 4 a.m. the next morning, a dozen FBI agents and local police officers showed up and dug up the entire garden, but couldn’t find any gun. Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what had happened and asked him what to do next.

His son’s reply was, “Go ahead and plant your potatoes Dad… This is the best I could do for you from here.”

For a man of determination, no reason can become an excuse for not achieving the goal. For him, all excuses are lame, however rational or logical they may sound to be. “If I don’t realize my dreams and objectives, then I alone am responsible, none else.” is his open and bold declaration.

But unfortunately, according to us, any responsibility means nothing but a ‘detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck, Star or one’s neighbour’.

“He that is good in making excuses is seldom good in making anything else!” says Benjamin Franklin.

Someone has jokingly defined an inefficient ‘committee’ as “Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together”!!

The weak alone seek excuses; the strong hardly find any.

There was a giant who was bullying and harassing the children in the village. One day a shepherd boy came to visit his brothers and asked, “Why don’t you stand up and fight the giant?”

The brothers were terrified and they replied, “Don’t you see he is too big to hit?”

But the shepherd boy said, “No. He is not too big to hit; rather he is too big to miss!!”

The mind trained to succeed will find opportunities anywhere.

This is an incident which happened around 40 years back at the intersection of the then Mount Road and Nungambakkam High Road in Chennai. On a busy hour, a man lay there on the roadside in a pool of blood, screaming for help. Seemed to be a road accident. Office-goers resumed their rush to their offices after a split-second glance at the man.

A construction worker woman, seeing this scene, threw aside her spade and her lunch pack, gathered the victim, put him in an autorickshaw, and sped off to the hospital. This timely step saved the man.

Of course, she had to part with her tiny nose-ring made of gold to pay the auto fare. Added to this, the loss of that day’s wage which she would otherwise have earned by dint of hard work at some construction site. But had she the mind to calculate it all? No chance!

Where there is a will, not one but thousands of ways unfold from within and without. For a man of stern will, even ‘Impossible’ appears only as ‘I’m possible’!

All situations are but God-sent, with a definite purpose, i.e. to assist us in our evolution. Excuses and escapisms defeat this very purpose. They only serve to delay the evolutionary process. A lesson not learned will be re-taught until well-learnt. Self-discovery is that ultimate lesson to be learnt compulsorily and none can escape it. Thus facing all situations, without looking for short-cuts, with total faith in Omniscient God as our Well Wisher is the best way to lead a fruitful life.

If this is our attitude, then never will we wallow in excuses and accuses, which are but the preoccupation of the inefficient and the incompetent.

O   M         T   A   T         S   A   T

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