Better Than Your Best

An Unpleasant Experience
I want to believe that almost all of us can remember a time in our ‘former lives’ when for some strange reason we couldn’t do things that normal members of the human species found unbelievably easy. Let’s for a minute go back to the pre-tech age, i.e. the ‘70’s or ‘80’s and let’s imagine you’re 7 or 8 or there about. You’ve asked your Mum if you can have beans-on-toast for lunch and she has kindly obliged you. She brings out 2 slices of bread and places them by the toaster, you wonder why she doesn’t place them in the toaster as they will take a while to toast and you’re already hungry but you don’t say a word.
Then she hands you a small tin of baked beans and a can opener and says “why don’t you open the beans?’ Easy enough you assume, afterall you’ve seen her do it hundreds of times. You place the beans the right way up on the table, you take the opener and proceed to make the initial opening in the can. This is supposed to be easy but the can opener seems to have gone blunt, or it just can’t stand your face…..There seems to be a conspiracy against you having beans with your toast, maybe your Mum is even in on it as she still hasn’t put the bread in the toaster.

What on earth is wrong with this can opener?
The weather is such that you need to wear a sweater but because you’ve begun to sweat you decide to take the sweater off, now your arms can move better, but the opener still isn’t cooperating.

Your Mum comes over, “let me show you how it’s done she says”. You watch with four eyes, even though you only have two, and no you don’t wear glasses. “When you put the opener on top of the can you have to press the two ends of the opener together exerting some force in the process”, she says and performs the actions as she speaks. She opens the tin about half way and hands it back to you “want to have another go?” You nod your agreement; it’s the best response you can manage.
Unfortunately that was not to be your lucky day; you don’t seem to be able to make any progress. By this time your Mum has begun to toast the bread, she takes the half-opened can from you and empties the contents into a saucepan to heat the beans. She hands you back the empty can and tells you to be careful not to cut yourself as you give it another go. This time as you use all the energy you can possibly muster you are able to make a few holes on the top of the can but fail in your bid to bring them all together.
“Good try” your Mum says as she hands you your beans on toast and takes the can and opener away. Never has beans-on–toast tasted so good. “We’ll keep trying till you get it” you hear your Mum say in the background.

Try and Try Again
That is exactly what happened; you kept trying under your Mum’s patient (and sometimes not so patient) guidance, until you finally mastered the art of can opening.
Today, should the necessity arise, you could probably open ten cans in as many seconds. Unfortunately we now live in the age of high-tech, can openers for the most part have been consigned to the rubbish dump and you may never get to showcase your can opening skills.
However life always has a way of presenting us with challenges and just like can opening, we need to face those challenges, overcome them, master them and then move on to greater challenges.
That is a very big part of what life is all about, mastering our challenges and sometimes those challenges are massive, I mean massive!

Overcoming Challenges

I’m guessing you’ve heard of Oscar Pistorius of South Africa otherwise known as the ‘Bade Runner” Here’s a few facts from his website:

Oscar Pistorius is a world champion sprinter who has broken his own world records some 30 times. A fierce advocate of Life Without Limitations and a bilateral amputee, he is the first ever Paralympian to win Gold in each of the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints (Beijing 2008), and his international reputation as the “fastest man on no legs” is gaining momentum with every race.

In a few days time Oscar will be competing in the 2012 London Olympics and this time along side able-bodied competitors, having fought for the right to do so.

If I admire anything I definitely admire his ability and will power to keep on pushing ahead, to push through no matter the obstacles he’s faced with.

We all have it within us to do better than our best, to be better than our best, to overcome the weight that has been placed on us to hold us down. Yes, we can overcome the limitations of our circumstances and overcome the gravity of our situations. We too can fly, we too can soar into the sky, we too can shine as light in the midst of a dark and perverse generation. We too can be better than our best. Do not let anything or anyone stop you.

It’s your time to shine, believe me, LolaA  🙂


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