Most of us are familiar with The Little Engine That Could. However, it occurs to me that some of my international friends may not have been told the story as a child so here is a summery.
The little train engine was loaded heavy and faced a long stretch of tracks up a steep mountain. The climb was hard but he kept repeating “I think I can. I think I can.” Over and over until he was over the top. It’s a preschool classic tale about the power of positive thinking. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that the Heart’s thoughts forms us into what we are as a person. In other words, how we identify ourselves determines how we behave. Do we see ourselves as the happy one? The fun one? The smart one? Maybe we see ourselves as the one who has a good heart but is always being taken advantage of. Whatever it is it’s that self identity that influences what we will do in any given situation. Even if the choice is being made subconsciously we are still making a choice. What forms that self identity can be pretty complicated but as I understand it we get a lot of this from the opinions of others. I once witnessed one of the cruelest pranks known to mankind when working in a prefab housing factory. The short version is that multiple people who was in on the prank simply asked this person if he was feeling okay. No suggestion of what might have caused the question was to be made. After several inquiries the otherwise healthy young man left early claiming he felt ill. The opinions of the group had so much influence on his opinion of himself that he manifested symptoms of illness. The next day he was told by several people that he looked well and that his recovery was amazing and he had one the most productive days ever! It was all done by manipulating his opinion of himself. And that brings me back to The Little Engine That Could. By repeating to himself that positive thought over and over he brought out the best that was inside himself and overcame the obstacle before him.
I try to keep these two stories in mind when I’m feeling down. One of them I learned as a child and the other I witnessed first hand. The lesson I learned was that positive thoughts can improve my quality of life. Also, with the rise of social media we’re more likely to encounter people like the coworkers who made a person sick simply with the power of suggestion. Keep that in mind when listening to the negative opinions yourself and others that might be floating around out there and never hesitant to give a kind word to someone who might need it to get through the day.
I think that one of the reasons why I’m attracted to railroad tracks is that to me they symbolize a simpler lifestyle. The railway has a rhythm and tempo that’s ordered as opposed to chaos of the highway. As I’ve said before in other posts I like to daydream about the places where the tracks will take me. In my mind’s eye we pass through lush forests and over peaceful rivers. The old saying about it being about the journey over the destination is right. The journey sets the tone for the whole experience. Tonight I want to wish you a peaceful experience in both journey and destination.
The ringing bell drones out with an urgency worthy of impending doom. The red lights flash like the angry eyes. The Earth rumbles and in the distance there’s the wailing of an air horn. Stay off the tracks. A train is coming.
Tonight’s image is a set of train tracks from late last summer. As I write this post a thunderstorm is raging through the mountains. My little buddy Scout has pointed out the clause in his contract that requires he be comforted during any all thunderstorms. ( In return he keeps the ninjas out from under the beds in the house 😉 ). This set of tracks is one of the ones that always indicated my sense of adventure. I’ve never seen what it is that is around the corner. For now, Scout and I will look at picture and distract ourselves from the thunder. I hope you enjoy the image as well.
Tonight I have a thought that I just can’t seem to suppress. A few days ago a meme came up on my Facebook feed. The meme asked what super power you would choose and one of the choices was time travel. I began to think about all the science fiction stories on t.v. and in books as well as movies and how they depicted time travel. Normally they accelerate the subject and the surrounding environment freezes. (Except for Dr. Who, he just vanishes with a psychedelic whirring noise. ) I have a slightly different concept. I think that time travel would require one to leave time-space completely and reenter at the destination point. It’s a concept that I came up with while working on a science fiction story. The complicated part would be that time isn’t really a specific quantity and destiny isn’t fixed. Our destiny is a result of our choices and our choices are influenced by our past experiences. Therefore, a time traveler who exited time-space would have to choose between infinite possible futures and perceive infinite past choices that were never made. The quote that applies is “Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions.” (Which is attributed to so many people that I’m not sure who actually said it. ) The obvious temptation for our time traveler would be to go back and correct the mistakes of the past. But in doing so he would prevent the experience of future and therefore gain no wisdom. Of course being outside time-space he would have all of eternity to explore the possibilities without any effect on the present. Perhaps the lesson he would learn would be to leave well enough alone and let things happen naturally. He would learn how important his past mistakes were and why he must learn from them.
Tonight’s post has a gate attached.
I stopped by this place on my drive home today just to take this picture. I’ve passed by it often and I’ve liked the rustic look. There’s something about the texture of the weathered wood that I really find appealing. This gate literally leads nowhere. Just a wide spot near the road that I’m pretty sure belongs to the Railroad. (I didn’t pass beyond the gate due to the private property sign hanging on it.)
I suppose that the scene represented a mystery to me.
An open gate that guards an empty lot. A sign that warns you to keep out. And an empty (I presume) gas can. A younger version of myself would not have been deterred by a sign on an open gate. I would have walked right on in just to be rebel. However, today I’m responsible for my own actions and so I’ll have to live with the mystery. But I do have a theory. This gate is there to keep the weeds from running out into the road and causing a traffic accident. 😉🤣
Sometimes when I am feeling stressed and just want the day to be over I try to take a deep breath and look at the big picture. I call it the “Next Tomorrow” theory. It’s not about procrastination. Procrastination only makes things worse. Procrastination gives problems time to build up a little problem army so that they can jump you all at once. The idea comes from the thought that its tomorrow already. The next tomorrow I can enjoy life if I get things accomplished today. The next tomorrow is just around the bend in the rails and I really don’t have much time to wait or waste.