No. 11


One day in this small community, a patrolman stopped a woman who was speeding. He asked to see her driver's license and said, "Lady, you were going fifty miles an hour in a thirty-five mile an hour zone." As she handed him her license, she said, "Before you begin writing that ticket, I think we should get our priorities straight. Are you supposed to advise me of my constitutional rights first, or am I supposed to tell you that my son is the head of the state highway patrol?"

As you read this humorous story, did you understand exactly what this lady had in mind? If you did, then you have some insights into the process of communication. While she did not say so, it's obvious that she was trying to use her son's influence to avoid paying a speeding ticket. The ability to communicate is a wonderful gift and those in our society who develop and use it well, have a tremendous advantage over those who do not.

As we think about the importance of communication in your own life, I would like to tell you another story involving communication that could have a tremendous bearing on your future. It's the story of the bumble bee. According to the theory of aerodynamics, the bumble bee is not supposed to be able to fly, because the size, weight and shape of his body in relation to his wing span, makes flying impossible. But you see, here's the problem: somebody forgot to tell the bumble bee about this theory and he goes ahead and flies and makes a little honey every day!

This story or example, has been around for a long time and while most people have heard it, I'm not sure they see the correlation between the bumble bee and themselves. The reason this is true is because we have the ability to communicate, while the bumble bee does not, and if someone who is an authority tells us that it's impossible to do something, we just accept it at face value. Instead of going ahead an trying something new or difficult and giving it our best shot, we jut pass it off by saying, "Well, you just can't do that." Let me make a quick distinction here. While some people attempt life threatening or potentially dangerous feats, I'm talking about normal, every day activities that could make us happier and more successful human beings.

About 25 years ago, when I first went into the sales profession, it didn't take me long to realize I had to steer clear of the older salesmen who had been around for years. Most of them were just plodding along and marking time. They were quick to tell me why a particular person or company would not buy from us. Of course, many new salesmen listen to this kind of talk and they never go out and make the effort, or if they do, they take the first rejection as proof the older, more experienced salesmen were right.

All through life, we meet people who have tried things and failed, and they will be quick to tell us why we can't do it, either. Here's the principle the story about the bumble bee should teach us: if what you want to do has potential and merit and will help you achieve what you want to achieve, how are you going to know whether you can succeed or not, if you don't try it for yourself? When you make the effort destiny comes into play. As William Jennings Bryan once said, "Destiny is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." As you go forth today, REMEMBER: the bumble bee is not supposed to be able to fly, but he DID! (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)