Sometimes I wonder if “common sense” isn’t another way of saying “fear.” And “fear” too often spells failure. – Walt Disney
Take a Chance by Walt Disney
In the lexicon of youth… there is no such word as fail! – Edward Bulwer-Lytton
I wonder how many times these sturdy old words have been used in graduation speeches each year. Tehy take me back to my own high-school days, when I had my first pair of white flannel trousers and the world ahead held no heartbreak or fear.
Certainly we have all had this confidence at one time in our lives, though most of us lose it as we grow older. Perhaps, because of my work, I’ve been lucky enough to retain a shred of this youthful quality. But sometimes, as I look back on how tough things were, I wonder if I’d go through it again. I hope I would.
When I was about twenty-one, I went broke for the first time. I slept on chair cushions in my “studio” in Kansas City and ate cold beans out of a can. But I took another look at my dream and set out for Hollywood.
Foolish? Not to a youngster. An older person might have had too much “common sense” to do it. Sometimes I wonder if “common sense” isn’t another way of saying “fear.” And “fear” too often spells failure.
In the lexicon of youth there is no such word as “fail.” Remember the story about the boy who wanted to march in the circus parade? When the show came to town, the bandmaster needed a trombonist, so the boy signed up. He hadn’t marched a block before the fearful noises from his horn caused two old ladies to faint and a horse to run away. The bandmaster demanded, “Why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t play the trombone?” And the boy said, “How did I know? I never tried before!”
Many years ago, I might have done just what that boy did. Now I”m a grandfather and have a good many gray hairs and what a lot of people would call common sense. But if I’m not longer young in age, I hope I stay young enough in spirit never to fear failure – young enough still to take a chance and march in the parade. – Walt Disney