What Can You Do?

My favorite show on TV is The Voice. I was watching it recently and a contestant, talking about how his dreams were on the verge of coming true, said, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” This is an oft repeated phrase in North American culture, meant to motivate people to great heights, but it’s only partially true. Can we do anything hula-162558_1920 (1)we put our minds to? Strictly speaking, no. I can’t touch my nose with my tongue. I can’t wiggle my ears. I purse my lips and blow and no whistle comes forth. EVER. I can’t keep a hula hoop swiveling about my hips and I try every time I come across one, much to the amusement of those around me. I can’t find my missing socks. I can’t command the weather and this is a sore spot for me. I can’t change another person and I’ve learned it’s not advisable to try, because it ends badly. I can’t stop myself from getting old, shriveling up like a pea with freezer burn, and dying. I can’t see with my eyes closed. Now I’m just being ridiculous, but maybe not. Words have power. Why don’t we say what we mean? Why would we want to set people up for failure? Continue reading “What Can You Do?”

Make Your Mark

I recently heard a story about my youngest daughter I hadn’t heard before. When my children were in elementary school, they were walking home and came upon fresh concrete, a driveway that had justshoe-5156417_1280 been poured. My mischievous, curly-haired gal plunked her foot down on it, against the advice of her older, wiser sister and brother and the three of them promptly fled the scene. The next time they passed this spot, it was apparent the owners of this block of cement didn’t appreciate my daughter’s dainty contribution. The offense had been remedied and the pad had been fenced off to avoid any other such occurrences. Why did my daughter spontaneously vandalize someone’s property? What is it about human beings that we want, even need, to make our mark? Continue reading “Make Your Mark”