Bird Droppings April 5, 2022

“Love is a complex experience which seems to follow no rules but its own. Romantic love can have the power of a hurricane or the tenderness of a soft wet wind. I have known, too, a chance introduction which instantly and magically merged into a lifelong friendship. And I’ve known love that refused to blossom over decades despite close, frequent contact. Then suddenly, this same person I had not considered significant became a treasured friend.” James Kavanaugh, A Lifetime Is not Long Enough to Love you

On Monday a year ago, I interviewed to teach at Piedmont university. Ironically, nearly twenty years before, I went for an interview to be accepted into the master’s degree program at Piedmont College. I failed my interview. I had already been in Piedmont graduate school for over a year and somehow forgot the interview process. When my advisor found out I failed the interview, I was extremely fortunate to sit in with the Dean of the Education department and gain acceptance to the program officially. I knew I was okay when the Dean asked to be put on my Birddroppings email list. Nearly a year later, I faced that same professor that failed me in the interview in class. Much like Kavanaugh’s thought, we became good friends, and in effect, he reintroduced me to a long-forgotten, on my part, poet, James Kavanaugh. I now have many of his books in my library, and this particular one caught my attention. The above is the first paragraph of the introduction. The failure of the interview is another story.

As I was thinking of potential, it depends on how we perceive and see the world and those around us. It is the acceptance and caring we share and allow others to participate in. Potential is a simple word yet so often robbed from students from friends as we impose our priorities and limitations on relationships, communication, and life itself.

“There comes that mysterious meeting in life when someone acknowledges who we are and what we can be, igniting the circuits of our highest potential.” Rusty Berkus

As parents, teachers, and friends, we need to be igniters for others and be self-igniters for us when needed. Each day I watch teachers and other students limit the potential of others. Often indirectly and without thought, we do this.

“Rough diamonds may sometimes be mistaken for worthless pebbles.” Sir Thomas Browne

Many years ago, in 1905, unearthed in South Africa, a baseball-size rock was pulled from the ground covered in mud. It may have been discarded, but when an observant miner carefully washed and cleaned the stone, it was the largest diamond ever found. The Cullinan Diamond weighed in at over 3000 carats. When cut, the diamond was made into several now-famous cut stones, most of which reside in the crown jewels of Great Britain, including the golf ball size stone in the scepter of the Queen.

“Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.” Liane Cardes

“The treacherous, unexplored areas of the world are not in continents or the seas; they are in the hearts and minds of men.” Allen E. Claxton

So often, it is within us that we become limited, and we become the stumbling blocks for our potential. It takes perseverance and effort to overcome our fears and inadequacies. Often children are put down and carry that into later events and undertakings, and a sense of inadequacy and potential is squashed.

“Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential. They experience synergy only in small, peripheral ways in their lives. But creative experiences can be produced regularly, consistently, almost daily in people’s lives. It requires enormous personal security and openness and a spirit of adventure.” Steven R. Covey

A virtual business empire has been built by Covey, helping and inspiring people to become aware of their potential, unlocking what they held inside. Through the understanding of people, great coaches in sports and life achieve success with teams that may not have the most outstanding athletes but have a concerted effort for achieving their potential. In a recent college football game, a seemingly invincible team was upset by a smaller college. That team’s effort to reach their true potential and another team thinking less of them because of who they thought they were.

“A pint can’t hold a quart — if it holds a pint, it is doing all that can be expected of it.” Margaret Deland

“It’s the moment you think you can’t that you realize you can.” Celine Dion

“What you can become, you are already.” Hebbel Friedrich

There are no secrets to unlocking our potential; it is there waiting. So many years ago, I remembered my father saying never to say “I can’t,” “you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”

“The cynic says, ‘One man can’t do anything.’ I say, ‘Only one man can do anything.’” John W. Garner

Author of numerous books on Leadership and motivation, Garner states it is there inside us “Only one man can do anything.”

“The greatest waste in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could become.” Ben Herbster

“Most people live, whether physically, intellectually, or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make very small use of their possible consciousness and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger.” William James

We get into the habit of accepting limitations and listening to those around us who keep us back. Instead, we should seek people and friends who uplift and raise the standards for us and those around us. Try and look for people who also want to reach their potential.

“It’s not what you’ve got; it’s what you use that makes a difference.” Zig Ziglar

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve obviously never been in bed with a mosquito.” Michelle Walker

We each can make a difference within ourselves and others by not holding friends, family, or students back. Instead, by helping them reach their potential, they do not have expectations that limit growth and achievement. We can accomplish anything by reaching for the sky. Today is near the end of the week; let us all be more aware of those around us

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, and bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.” Mary Jean Iron

Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your heart’s namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


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