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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/14/12

Rocky Anderson: "Not a Snowball's Chance in Hell!"

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Fred Smith wrote a term paper based on an idea for reliable overnight delivery. His professor gave him a C because the idea wasn't feasible. Years later, many potential  investors  agreed with the professor, refusing to send capital Smith's way. The funds he did raise in 1971 and '72 were gone by '74, along with his investors. One catchy slogan and several million dollars of hard-won capital later, Federal Express was on its way to long-term success.   .

 

Steve Jobs wanted to give everyone a computer at a time when nobody realized computers were necessary to have. He founded Apple to create home computers, experienced some early success, faltered in the consumer market with the expensive Macintosh, was ousted from the company he founded, dabbled in computer animated movies-Pixar ring a bell?-and was eventually asked to return to his first love, where he turned around Apple at a time when it was in trouble."

 

You may be down on capitalism and frozen food, even Apple and Lucille Ball, but the point I wish to make is that when we make up our minds and stick to our beliefs, things start happening that we never thought possible. Tomes have been written on this topic, but here is a poem that I think cuts to the heart of the matter:

 

Couldn't   Be   Done

by Edgar Al be rt Guest

Somebody said   that   it couldn't   be   done,
    But, he with a chuckle replied
That   "may be   it couldn't," but he would   be   one
    Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That   couldn't   be   done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do   that ;
    At least no one has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
    And the first thing we knew he'd   be gun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That   couldn't   be   done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot   be   done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers   that   wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
      That   "couldn't   be   done," and you'll do it.

And a video that I believe does justice to the poem:

  http://www.yesmagazine.org/for-teachers/curriculum/words-that-inspire-it-couldnt-be-done

For those who prefer quotes:

The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Walter Bagehot

I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution. Wernher von Braun

All things are possible until they are proved impossible -- and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.  Pearl S. Buck,   A Bridge for Passing   (1937)

If someone says "can't," that shows you what to do. Advice from John Cage's father

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)
 

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