No. 39

It's my sincere hope that what I have to share in this column will be a source of inspiration to you and a good number of other people, as well. One of the greatest blessings we have in this country which so many people take for granted is opportunity. Because of the basic freedoms we enjoy and an economic system that permits the free flow of goods and services to all parts of the world, opportunity abounds for each of us. Unfortunately, because there are millions of our citizens who broke the law and have committed crimes against society or one or more individuals, they wound up in prison and have forfeited their opportunity.
However, the greatest prison of all is not made with human hands, but rather it is the prison of the mind - people who are bound up in their thinking and just can't see all the opportunity that is around them. For example, think of the millions of people in America who are working at jobs they don't like or jobs where they feel they have no opportunity for advancement. Before I go on, could I be talking about you or someone you care about? Here is a statement that you may or may not agree with: the problem I have just described in 99% of the cases is not the job, it's the thinking of the person who holds the job.
This story will illustrate what I am saying: Some years ago there were three negative women who lived on a bayou in south Louisiana, and day-after-day they complained about their circumstances. Each day they would moan and say, "There is no opportunity for us here." Sound familiar? Then one day a positive thinking woman came along and heard them complaining and she said, "Look, so you live on a bayou. Well, the bayou runs into the river and the river runs into the gulf, and the gulf opens up into the sea. You have a boat. You can go anywhere from where you are."
I don't know how you feel about it, but to me this is really some exciting news! If you or someone you care about is in a job you don't like or one that seems to have no possibilities for the future, in most cases the problem is not the job -- it's in your thinking about the job. Like the three negative women on the bayou, you can go anywhere from where you are.
Here is what Walter Malone had to say about opportunity: "They do me wrong who say I come no more. When once I knock and fail to find you in, for everyday I stand outside your door and bid you wake and rise to fight and win. Wail not for precious chances passed away. Weep not for golden ages on the wane. Each night I burn the records for the day. At sunrise every soul is born again. Laugh like a boy at splendors that have sped, to vanished joys be blind and deaf and dumb. My judgments seal the dead past with its dead, but never bind a moment yet to come. Tho' deep in mire, wring not your hands and weep. I lend my arm to all who say, "I can." No shame faced outcast ever sank so deep, but yet might rise and be a man again. Art thou a mourner? Rouse thee from thy spell. Art thou a sinner? Sins may be forgiven. Each morning gives thee wings to flee from hell. Each night a star to guide they feet to heaven."
Until our next visit here is something worth thinking about. The American editor and craftsman Elbert Hubbard once said, “Opportunity is health and a job.” That’s it. If we have good health and a job we can use our time, talents and other resources as a springboard to achieve any success we desire. Don’t procrastinate!!!. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)