Once my husband and I were flat out in the middle of nowhere – in beautiful rural Kentucky. We were somewhere between home (Owensboro, Kentucky) and our home away from home (Land Between the Lakes and Kentucky Lake). All of a sudden, the car was filled with a heavenly aroma – easily identified to a citizen of Owensboro… Barbecue. Just as I was wondering if my husband caught a whiff of the same amazing smell, he promptly turned the car around and we went back for a sandwich!
It was beyond spectacular and we have, most definitely, been back. After all, we know where it is: Three and a half miles past the end of the earth.
I got such a kick out of finding such a Heavenly, family-owned barbecue joint in such an unexpected place.
That sort of thing happens a lot with motivation and inspiration. I suppose it’s more prominent if you spend the majority of your time thinking and writing about such things, as I do – but I’m confronted with motivation and inspiration every single day and in the most unexpected places.
A few examples:
- In our neck of the woods, we had a horrific ice storm earlier this year. People in our beautiful state were without electricity for days and even weeks. Trees, grass, fences, vehicles, and everything else that didn’t move were encased in ice. It was gorgeous right up until everything went (and stayed) dark and cold. When spring finally came to Kentucky, I walked around our yard celebrating its arrival. I love trees almost as much as I do animals, and I was really worried about the 20-plus trees in our yard. There was something so profoundly beautiful and touching about what I saw: Little buds springing forth from the most weathered, crooked and beaten limbs imaginable. Somehow, even after taking the beating of their life, the trees had found the will to keep fighting. Sure enough, they were green and gorgeous all spring and summer. In fact, it seems to me that our apple and pear trees gave more fruit that ever as they celebrated being alive. Survival makes you stronger, whether you’re a tree or a human being.
- More recently, as I headed to one of these fruit trees to grab a healthy nibble after a 45 minute walk, I noticed from a distance an unsightly heap of rotten pears at the base of the beautiful pear tree. For an instant, I thought about getting a rake and heaving the nastiness elsewhere. However, as I got closer, the unsightly view became one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen. There were hundreds of the most vividly beautiful and amazing butterflies imaginable enjoying what, to me, had been an eyesore. No artist on earth could have created the beauty that was buzzing around those fallen pears. One of my cats (Hannah) and I literally sat on the ground and watched in wonder. There were some colors on these butterflies that I’m not sure even have names! I may have mentioned this before on Self Help Daily – whenever I see a butterfly, my mind thinks, “Somewhere a miracle is happening.” That thought stream simply added to the wonder. The most beautiful moments in life are often where we least expect them. That’s why it pays to always keep looking up and looking forward!
Motivation from the Mayor Of Bowling Green, Kentucky
One of my blogs is a Kentucky blog (Genuine Kentucky), so I often receive news alerts as well as personal “Check this out!” messages from around the state. Recently I followed one of these links, prepared to run the story on Genuine Kentucky. However, halfway through the story, I knew I’d be coming here first.
The story was titled, “Stimulate Yourself.” It’s about small and mid-size towns in Kentucky finding ways to cope with our challenging economic times. The author of the article tells how he has met with various mayors and city officials around the state to discuss the economy as well as President Obama’s stimulus package. The mayors and city officials each told the author that they haven’t really seen any change.
Bowling Green, Kentucky’s Mayor, Elaine Walker is quoted as saying, “We didn’t see much of anything. The money went to the state and was siphoned off by them. We got about zero from it.”
However, Mayor Walker was not overly upset about the lack of federal assistance for Bowling Green. Instead, the self-described supporter of President Obama (in a part of the country that mostly supported McCain) seems, as the article words it, more disposed to taking matters into her own hands. Rather than waiting for Obama, Bowling Green is looking to stimulate itself…
The mayor didn’t sing a sad song, she was too busy making, and carrying out, plans. She didn’t have a finger free to point at anyone – all 10 were busy working. If you think about it, if someone has a finger free to point at someone – doesn’t that indicate that it isn’t in use? Idle hands and idle minds are the devil’s workshop – mark it down, nothing good ever comes from either.
The article then goes on to detail what Mayor Walker has in mind – how she plans to stimulate Bowling Green’s economy, diversify, and boost small local businesses.
Whether it’s on an individual, family, city, or state level – those who will survive and dare to prosper are those who will put on their boots and march… even if it is uphill. The survivors will be the ones who’s hands are too busy to stop long enough to point fingers -whether their toward President Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or the Middle East. It’ll be the individuals who, like my own husband, look for creative approaches to saving money and making more. The people who are up to the challenge and who, on a most unusual level, welcome the underdog status! They’re like, “I’ll show you down and out!”
Think about it: If a flood came to your town, what would you do? Would you stand still as the water rose – looking for who you can pin the blame on? Would you rant and rave about politicians and policies? Would you keep shaking your fist at Iraq? Would you debate where the water came from? Would you stand around waiting for someone to save you when you were perfectly capable of saving yourself?
Not unless you were a complete and perfect moron.
Don’t wait for anyone else to save you. Be your own hero.