Saturday, April 26, 2014

Blank Page

When I sat down this morning to do a blog post I had almost 2 hours to write something. Now I have 30 minutes, and you can see what's been done.

Some days there is nothing more intimidating than a blank sheet of paper. Just like a young life, a blank sheet of paper- or a blank computer screen- holds unlimited possibilities. We just need to make the right decisions to fill those possibilities.

The second question is always about the possibilities.

We can be anything our skills allow us to be. Yes there are some limits. If you are less than 6 foot tall I doubt you will make it in the NBA. If you are not mathematically savvy I doubt a career in engineering is in the works.

But those limits are internal, not external. No one will stop you from trying out for the high school basketball team because you are too short. You may not make the team, but you have the opportunity to try.

That is one of the great things about this country; we have the ability to try. We aren't guaranteed success, but we are guaranteed the try.

History is full of stories of the triers. We are most familiar with the succeeders, but we also know of some of the most spectacular also-rans. Like Samuel Pierpoint Langley; an also ran to the Wright Brothers. One of the most famous- and oldest- Air Force bases in the world is named after him. He did have some help becoming famous as an also-ran; he was the head of the Smithsonian Institute for many years.

How about Henry Clay? Best known as a brilliant Senator from Kentucky, he ran, unsuccessfully, for president 3 times. Eugene Debs is another well known also ran; he ran for president 5 times. As a Socialist.

The point is nobody stopped these folks from trying, multiple times. Just as nobody stopped the Wright Brothers. Can you imagine the audacity? Two self-educated bicycle mechanics from a small town in rural Ohio trying to do what nobody else was able to? Build a machine to fly?

That was 100 years ago. Today we would have a Congressional Committee, or even a whole branch of the Federal government set up to regulate who could try something like this. Trying to fly an unregistered device would mean jail time.

Would it be worth it to try, in this day and age?

Maybe not.  And that creates a lot of blank paper, and possibly blank lives.

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