Recognized Social Butterfly


Key Reflections

The other day at my primary physician’s office, I obtained the key to the ostensibly vacant unisex bathroom. No matter how often or how vigorously I turned the key or twisted the handle, neither door would budge. Someone walking by, seeing my frustration, suggested that I use the bathrooms on another floor. I refused to give up. Once more, I placed the key into the first recalcitrant lock and pushed: Presto, the door opened. I wondered why I was so successful this time. Then I figured it out. Just by chance, I had inadvertently inserted the key further into the lock than I had done before. That final thrust secured my entrance.

It didn’t take a lot of finesse or razzle dazzle to breach the bathroom door. All that was required was more follow through. Sometimes we don’t know how far we must go to complete a task. Overcoming obstacles isn’t an art; perseverance is the key.

My wife has always been a cheerleader for perseverance. And it once paid off royally. Years ago when I was teaching English at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC, a fellow instructor asked me to write an extensive middle-school  grammar text to be bundled into his second math CD-ROM program. He assured me that my product would be very profitable, as his had been. The deadline was in two months. I at first declined his offer. Writing hundreds of pages of text from scratch in that short period of time seemed overwhelming. But my wife would not let me refuse this potentially lucrative opportunity. She persistently told me that I had the talent and the time to complete my work on schedule. She would see to it that I was sheltered from all household and parental responsibilities.

After a few days of her prodding, I surrendered. And my wife was right. In fact, thanks to her intervention, I had the full text composed two weeks early. Her faith in me paid off handsomely. My middle-school grammar text was so popular that I was enlisted to write a high-school grammar program that was just as well received.

Whenever I am tempted to give up on a simple or complex task, I find the strength to continue, courtesy of my wife.


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