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Chatterbox: “The hard that makes it great”

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Some days our bio-rhythms are just right and what we need stands up in front of us and screams, “Here I am! I’m your inspiration for today!” Other days, we put a paring knife through our finger (yes, I did). However, that’s the way life and inspiration come and go.

Today, we present the first edition of a new year at the Herald and that is very special. It’s the outcome of hard work and tenacity of many and a special moment in time. Ironically, today, I had another special moment, though somewhat smaller. One of my cousins had asked for a copy of an old Chatterbox column. It was from June of 2006, so, naturally, I reread it before sending it off, and there was today’s inspiration – a gift from the day.

The column was about things we must all face alone regardless of our support system, but it reminded me that, whatever motivates us to pursue what we do, all we do gets done because we put our shoulder to the wheel and do it.

Inspiring me even after all these years, the old column talked about the importance of carrying on, and I often remember that line in the classic baseball film, “A League of Their Own.” Tom Hanks plays the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League manager Jimmy Dugan.

He is saying goodbye to a player who’s leaving the team to resume her life with her husband who has just returned, injured, from World War II.

She tells him it’s too hard to keep playing the game. That’s when he says, “It’s supposed to be hard … It’s the hard that makes it great.” That line is profound far past the film.

Often, we are faced with “the hard.” Today, life is hard in America. It will get harder still as we travel through the next decade. We must do all we can to mitigate the damage but must go on working and accomplishing personally as well. Personal balance, even if temporary or precarious, is its own reward, and the effort is absolutely necessary.

Whether we moan and groan through it every time, sometimes, or never, if we accomplish the goal the noise becomes less relevant. We undertake a new opportunity at accomplishing something whether major or minor, every day.

If we are students, we accomplish or we do not accomplish, and our futures will carry the perks or penalties of those choices. As adults, spouses, parents, children of aging parents, friends, relatives, citizens, and workers, we are faced with numerous tasks every day that affect things we may never even think about. We might change people’s attitude and leave them with a smile; we might not change people’s attitude and leave them with a headache; we don’t know. Either way, we should, at the very least, hope that we’ve done the right things and that we live our life in as altruistic and productive a way as possible. That is success whether by accident or plan.

While reading the 12-year-old column I would mail to my cousin, I realized, once again, that carrying on, no matter what, is one important part, perhaps the singular part, of that which makes us human, which keeps us human. It is what will bring us forward whether we walk alone or together, in the dark or through illumination.

Life is grand whether we carry on for the world and for the much smaller realm that is our personal world and whether that includes family and friends, co-workers and clients or not. Even when our effort affects no one but us, ourselves, it is what we do, whatever our spiritual belief, and wherever our incentive comes from.

This is the discipline and effort that has brought us all the Herald for 16 full years; this is what brings us all to whatever goals we may set for ourselves, and this is what carries each of us into the gift that is every new day. So, whatever it is, we’ve got this handled … we’ve all got it handled (just watch that paring knife).


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