We were driving through Mbita, the village I’m in this summer, on a particularly rainy day. Through the rain, the traffic, and the chaos of the market on main street, I locked eyes with a little girl who was carrying what looked like a bucket of grain. She immediately smiled an “I’m gonna get you” smile, dropped her bucket, and broke into a full-on sprint, faster than what I ever would’ve assumed possible from such a small, barefoot child – in a dress I might add.
Not wanting to attract attention, I quickly spun my head to face forward. The vehicle sped up, we were headed out of town. I smiled softly and thought “Maybe next time, kid.” My mind moved onto other things as quickly as the vehicle did. I was thinking about my survey questions when out of my peripheral vision a small figure appeared to my left. The little girl. To my left. This time her face read “I sure got you, didn’t I?” She was running so remarkably fast, still managing to wave and giggle at me. I burst into a laugh and waved back. She was either content or exhausted because as abruptly as she began, she stopped. We both held each other’s gazes until we could no longer see one another.
I thought about the girl for the rest of the day. I don’t think I could forget her face if I wanted to. She’s the perfect picture of our favorite under-dog. From that wordless interaction, I felt like I knew the girl. Her small but powerful actions spoke for themselves. Her dedication to the road ahead of her was incredible. Speed bumps, rocks, and all other obstacles yielded to her grit and determination.
My first reaction to this girl’s spirit was to turn away, don’t attract attention, don’t let this moment take hold, she won’t reach you. I hid my face from extraordinariness. She, however, had other plans. Even though I couldn’t see her purpose, her persistence, her plan, she kept running. She didn’t mind my inattention to potential or dismissive attitude. Heck, with her eyes focussed so far ahead, she probably didn’t even notice.
Let’s take a few points from this bright soul:
1.) When you possess great treasures within you and try to tell others, they seldom believe you. This is actually a quote from one of my favorites, The Alchemist. For goodness sake, this girl was screaming to me “I WILL REACH YOU” and the only thing I knew for certain was that she wouldn’t! I couldn’t conceive the possibility of her ability being so great. Let’s strive to only assume the greatness that others have inside, rather than the lack of goodness. Even more importantly, take heart when others can’t see the shiniest parts and pieces of you – they may be a little sensitive to light. They’ll grow immune or find some sunglasses.
2.) I will only persist. I pulled this from another life-changer, The Traveler’s Gift. This is about recognizing the storm you possess. No matter how bright it burns or how strong it stirs, only you can really know the disruptions (or in the little girl’s case, the joy) you can create. That means that at the end of the day you are the only one who can decide how far you’ll go. The only viable option you have is to persist. That girl was not going to stop until she got my attention. And that is quite obviously, exactly what she did.
3.) Stop and get going! This contradictory statement is a Cheyenne original. The little girl reminded me of a truth I’ve learned over and over again. Sometimes you have to stop to get going. Let go. Let it be. Be free. The first thing the girl did when she saw what she wanted was stop. She dropped the bucket, dropped the feelings of doubt, dropped anything that would hold her back from her vision, her goal. With all of this extra space and energy, she got going. There was no hesitation, no stops, no distractions. More times than not, we wait to begin. We question if it’s the “right time.” When is the “right” time and what if it never comes? Will we wait forever? What if we spend our lives waiting for the world when the world is really waiting for us!?
If others can’t see your vision for the world, start creating and hope for their membership somewhere else along the journey. Disrupters, dreamers, and go-doers simply can’t be realistic by others standards. Drop your bucket already, get going. What are you waiting for?