Librarian Emily has two dogs. A few days ago, she took PK for a walk, leaving Olive in the fenced-in backyard. Olive can be trusted to run around while PK needs more encouragement to get his exercise.
They had been walking for a while when Emily noticed that PK kept stopping and looking back. At first, she, not unreasonably, assumed he just wanted to return to the cool house. But then she also looked back. And there was Olive running after them, determined to catch up. When she did, she looked at them as if to say, “Why have you stopped? You forgot me, but I’m here now. Let’s go for our walk.”
Emily doubts that’s there a moral to this story, other than that Olive can be annoying. But I disagree.
Olive is a good example of persistence. When she discovered she’d not been invited for a walk, she decided she would not be denied. And somehow she squeezed her not insubstantial body through the very small space between fence and the ground. That took determination as well as a willingness to suffer a bit.
Olive’s story made me think of the barriers that get put in our way and how many times we just accept them and stop:
- We don’t do well on the first test, so we drop the course.
- Someone tells us that we’re too (old, young, poor, uneducated, unattractive, etc.) to pursue a particular goal, so we give up.
- We decide to start exercising, but the first time we do, we fall off the treadmill. (Okay, that could just be me.)
And, truly, we have to investigate the barriers and fences because sometimes we are failing for a reason, and there’s no harm in dropping one goal and starting another.
But in some cases, that fence needs to be jumped. Or knocked down. Or wiggled under.