Pursue Your Goals And Dreams Every Single Day
One day at work while listening to the radio I had the pleasure of hearing a speaker named Florence Littauer. Florence shared with the listening audience an experience she had when she attended a church service in the midst of one of her out-of-town engagements. The minister acknowledged her presence and immediately, in front of the congregation, asked if she would come up front and lead the children's sermon for that day. Before she had a chance to respond, the minister then called all the children up front to hear her.
With apparently no choice, Ms. Littauer walked up front. On an impulse, she focused on a Bible verse that read, "Let no evil communication proceed out of your mouth" (Ephesians 4:29). She emphasized to the children the importance of the words you say to others.
At that point, one of the children, a little girl, stood up, turned, faced the audience and stated in a loud voice, "What she MEANS is, our words should be like a little silver box with a bow on top."
Florence stated she has never forgotten those words spoken by that child.
She continued that she had two daughters with whom she got along quite well. She also had a son who, as she put it, had total opposite views than she. For example, one day he said to her, "It AMAZES me that people actually pay to hear you talk!"
"Now THAT was not a silver box," she remarked. When he said that, she recalled some of their previous conversations. There was a day when her son told her that his teacher said he had a charming personality. Instead of commending him she had remarked, "I would like to see some of that around here!" On reflection she realized she had taken away the praise he had received.
Florence then carried the listener back to the year she was a senior in college. One day her father had taken her into the back room of their home - a small den. He handed her a little cigar box. He said he had hidden it away, but now he wanted to give it to her. She looked inside, and it was full of newspaper clippings - articles he had written and published. He told Florence her mother had discouraged him from pursuing his goals by stating to him, over and over, "You should not try to write, you don't have an education." However, he knew he could do this, and he would constantly submit articles to the paper. He always made sure he checked the paper before her mother saw it, and if they published any of his material, he would cut out the clipping and put it in the cigar box.
He then confided he had recently attempted to try magazines. A few months before, he had mailed a manuscript to "The Denomination" Magazine. However, each month when he checked, they had not printed his material. "I think I tried for something too big," he told her.
Florence took the cigar box full of clippings, and that was the last time she saw her father alive. He dropped dead the next day. On the way home from the funeral, she stopped at a store. Scanning the periodicals, she spotted "The Denomination" Magazine. Inside was her father's printed article.
She recalled at that moment a day when she and her sisters stood in front of a well-to-do woman on the street several years before. They were poor, and they wore ragged clothes. She saw the woman look at them and heard her say to the lady with her, "It is a shame there is no hope for those children because they appear so bright." Florence immediately thought to herself, "I will show that lady!"
She stated how grateful she was that her father had given her that cigar box. All his clippings are framed on the wall in her study. Her father had a box of broken dreams, dreams that could have come true if he had been encouraged by others.
Florence ended her talk by emphasizing these words, "DO NOT LET THAT PERSON YOU KNOW DIE WITH THE MUSIC STILL INSIDE THEM."
Today Florence has written over twenty books. She is a well-known public speaker. In fact, one of her best selling books is titled, SILVER BOXES. I purchased the book, and it is filled with wonderful testimonies of people who keep little silver boxes in their homes to remind them to control the words that come out of their mouths.
I wonder how many people there are who long to share their thoughts, ideas and dreams with others but are afraid to do so? How often do we allow the fear of human disapproval to stop us from trying out something we want to do or to be?
I believe what each of us has to contribute to this planet should not be tucked away inside a "cigar box." We should also encourage our friends and loved ones to develop the "music" inside them. Then, when we pass into eternity, the "bow" that little girl spoke of in church years ago can be tied around millions of silver boxes - our own, unique contributions to the world.
SINCERELY, Sparklea :)