This is from a speech given by Booker T. Washington in 1895. The idea to "cast down your bucket" was that no matter what situation you find yourself in, you should try to make the best of it.
In the speech he references a boat out at sea that has run out of water. They spot a friendly ship and signal they are dying of thirst and need water. The ship replies to cast down your bucket. They reply multiple times and receive the same response. They finally out of desperation or frustration cast down their buckets... at this time they bring up fresh water. (they were at the mouth of the river sitting on top of fresh water, completely unaware)
This story is always in the back of my mind as I go through life. So often we work towards the something else. We focus on the where we can go or who can help us to get out of the place we are in.
But when I embrace this idea, I often find myself in a different place than I thought I was in. It's about perspective I guess, perspective of where I am standing and what I can gain from my footing or lack there of. I am constantly guilty of wanting to get out of where I am standing and move onto something else, sometime feeling like if I could just escape my current circumstances, I would be better off. Whether that be any list of examples. But sadly, this temptation is just that... a temptation to remain in the same place and without growth. To hunker down and explore my circumstances and ask myself what I can learn of them and what they tell me about myself tends to be more fruitful than a graceful amount of dodging around.
So I guess the challenge of this post is to "cast down your bucket" and see what is around you. Cast yourself into your current position and focus on what you are doing today instead of what you could be doing somewhere else. Embrace what you have to learn about where you are and drink deep because I do believe fresh water is usually closer than we think.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Although this will seem like a blanket statement or idea, let me first state I do believe exceptions exist here. People can get angry for valid reasons etc etc. But what I am asking you to think about is, all the other times anger happens and how often it could be what I will mention below. I have recently been thinking about why people react with frustration and anger so much in response to whatever seems to be the situation. I have come to the conclusion in most of the cases where people respond in anger, they are probably just wrong about whatever and thus led to be angry or frustrated... embarrassed and prideful. I think anger is a cover up and really easy exit from the real hard path of using the words, I'm sorry or dare I mention being wrong. At some point we are so adamant about defending our honor and have chased the rabbit so far, it is a stubborn issue that we would rather continue to fight the empty fight rather and to concede and admit what we probably know as truth on the inside. Anyways, next time you find yourself responding with anger first, quickly think, am I just mad because I'm wrong.