Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Quote I Grew Up With Still Applies

I grew up with extraordinary parents. My mom was always singing, quoting shakespeare at opportune moments, and majored in music in College w/ a minor in English literature. She taught English in a High School in the San Fernando Valley until she had us kids, and was very education oriented. My parents moved to La Crescenta, where I grew up, BECAUSE OF the schools. And my mom didn't take anyone's word for it. She sat in on classes in both the private and public schools there to make sure.

My Dad was also a music major and psychology major, but he took so much biology he may as well also have been a bio major. He knew more about snakes than anyone I knew because he used to hang out in the herpetology section of the zoo and be mentored there. He had a full scholarship to USC in French Horn and was an alternate to the Gymnastic olympic team in I don't know what year. But he didn't take the french horn scholarship and instead went to the same school my mom went to and there you have it.

Anyway, they were both so bookish (but not nerdy) that almost every wall of our house was lined w/ books. When I went to people's houses where there were no books lining the walls, I assumed there was a room I didn't know about that served as "the library" in the house. haha!

All that to say, my mom used to hang up quotes all over the house. Still does. There was one big sign that was over her desk, on the refrigerator, over our desks, everywhere. It really sums up what her philosophy is, and although it's perhaps oversimplified, it certainly is true in most cases!

I want to share it with you:

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
-Calvin Coolidge

Here's another one of Calvin's famous quotes:
Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.
Calvin Coolidge

And finally:
I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.
Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933)

All of these truths are worth meditating on, because there is more truth in them than many people care to admit. These principles were drummed through our heads and I passionately believe them to be true. Ok, "Press on" does not solve ALL the problems of the human race, but it does solve an awful lot of our problems in life, and it sure beats not pressing on!

And relying on things like "genius", "talent", "education" are not enough in life. They can be cop-outs, to be honest. How many blow-hards have you met in your life who prance around declaring their own genius, talent, or education? Are they helping anything? No. How many humble people have you met who are quietly changing things - ok I'll bring out my own hero's name - Jane Goodall. She was just pure persistence at the beginning. She only had a high school education when she made the majority of her biggest discoveries, did you know that? Then she went back and rushed through a PhD based on her discoveries. But it was her sheer persistence that got her where she was in the first place!

I hope that inspires you. It inspires me!


PS: It's never too late to follow your "bliss" in the sense of moving ahead on what you've always wanted to do. There are seasons of life where you can't do everything, In fact, you can never do "everything". But you can start to move forward on the thing that inspires and excites you the most. The thing you've always wanted to do. Even if you have to go so slow that only you can tell that there's ever any progress. You just need persistence, not all that other stuff. It's kind of a relief to realize that.


RainbowGirl said...

Yet again, you uplift me, Stacey! It is true about perseverance. I think the same is true of resilience in life- if you are able to persevere and bounce back from the challenges in life it can be more rewarding than money in the bank or a fancy title. I think you also learn more from persevering than you would if everything was a straight walk in the park. This was another inspirational post. Thank you!

Ter-o-fla said...

Totally agree. :)
It plays out time and time again.

Cybee said...

Wonderful quotes. So worthy and yes, gives hope to all those who may otherwise be intimidated. Excellent. Thanks for sharing...I want to share those quotes with others now as well! It's the kind of thing people need to realize in these times.

Melissa King said...

"I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.
Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933)"

I love this. It's exactly what I needed to hear (and can benefit from hearing it again and again and again).

Janet said...

Stacey what a Wonderful post!!
You so hit many thruths on the head and Persistence is the key!

Anonymous said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it........................................

Charlotte said...

ALL of this is so inspiring. I hope you realize that, Stacey. Please know that when you write a brilliant post like this it touches all who read it on some level, even when we don't take the time to respond. In the three days since you posted this one I've printed, clipped pasted and distributed those words to several of those dear hearts closest to mine. That's just me. For every person who responds there are at this point likely scores who don't but think about it.

Those quotes are powerful words to live by. How fortunate you were to have been raised by the parents you were blessed with.

Please continue to post when you're moved and able to, never EVER again wondering "is anyone out there". We ARE. Your writing feeds so many of us in so many ways!

wess_liana said...

Charlotte is so right, I haven't commented yet on this one, but I did send two of the quotes to a very special young woman who wants to be an RN and is starting school in a week or so. She's unfortunately met discouragement from her mother who is trying to tell her that it's going to be too hard for her... BAH! (She didn't have as wonderful a mom as you). Me and my family are giving her LOTS of encouragement and she's a brave girl with a strong backbone and is determined NOT to listen to the naysayers. When I read this post, Stacey, I immediately sent the quotes to her and she appreciated them greatly!! So thank you.... you're touching people you don't even know of with your wise words.

淑瑄 said...

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lynn said...

Are you OK? Haven't heard from you for some time. Hope this just means you are having fun.

Charlotte said...

Thanks, Lynn, I imagine MANY of us are feeling concern. Stacey, because I (we)know and care deeply about your health issues** and your well being, it's always "back there" bumping around in my consciousness, giving rise to the big bad "W" when (what I consider to be) significant time passes and you haven't posted. I then scan my rational thought for things that you've mentioned, like the fabulous late night Celtic music jams you've enjoyed out there in Colorado or how you're writing with Cait or how travel has to be carefully planned. These things, added to knowing you have only 4-6 waking hours a day HELP to restore a degree of trust that you're okay.

A single line in your last post helped more than others for me. It was one simple statement.. that you were writing with Cait. In supporting her friend with the herculean, ALL consuming effort that birthing a new book must be, I imagine Cait has done things like unplug her internet modem and scan your overwhelming email log for you, letting you see only those that bear blood. I can only imagine how difficult keeping your brilliant, passionate heart and soul on one single (book birthing)track is when your other new entities (i.e BOA) begin to tug at you.

So that is how I deal with my uncertainty AND my worry, Stacey. I can't speak for others. I do know that for me it would be ever so helpful to see some form of weekly (?) communication from you, if only to say "I'm buried in book birthing but fine!" I love and support you in the path I imagine you are on right now (writing). If you could help us be more aware about your process there might be less room for fear.. about your health, and about another wonderful entity you feel passionate about: The Stacey O'brien American Barn Owl Alliance !!

(**If you know nothing about Stacey's health matters mentioned above, you can go back and read Stacey's April 13 blog post,titled "Thank you! Also a health update for those of you who asked")

wess_liana said...

Just like Charlotte... I check daily (sometimes a few times a day) for new words from our fearless leader and am starting to get a little concerned. Stacey, I pray all is well with you and that you are just in the throws of writing with Cait and having Colorado adventures. Please write soon... if only to let us know you're ok. You are missed.
(((BIG HUG)))

林奕廷 said...