Saturday, August 31, 2019

When The World Says, “No!”



When 19th Century clergyman Henry Ward Beecher was a young boy in school, he learned a powerful lesson in self-confidence. He was called to stand and recite in front of the class. He had hardly begun when the schoolteacher interrupted with an emphatic, “No!” The startled boy began again. After a moment the teacher once more thundered, “No!” Now humiliated, the student sat down.

The next boy rose to recite and had just begun when the teacher likewise shouted, “No!” This student, however, kept on with the recitation until he completed it. As he sat down, the instructor responded, “Very good!”

Confused and irritated, the young Henry Beecher complained to the schoolteacher, “I recited just as he did.”

But the instructor replied, “It is not enough to know your lesson, you must be sure. When you allowed me to stop you, it meant that you were uncertain. If all the world says, ‘No!’ it is your business to say, ‘Yes!’ and prove it.”

It is clear to us that the world says, “No!” in a thousand ways:

“No! You can’t do that.” 
“No! You are wrong.”
“No! You are too old.”
“No! You are too young.”
“No! You aren’t strong enough.”
“No! You can’t do it that way.”
“No! You don’t have the right education.”
“No! You don’t have the background you need.”
“No! You don’t have enough money.”
“No! You’ll never succeed.”
And each “No!” you hear has the potential to erode your confidence bit by bit until you quit altogether.     
     
Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 

The world may say “No!,” but if you have a bigger “Yes!” burning deep inside, the world won’t know what to do with you.

And you will always prevail.

--Steve Goodier

Image: flickr.com/Kevin Spencer