Friday, February 15, 2013

If you were God who would you help?

     I remember sitting by my apartment window on a late autumn day, the wind pleasantly sighing, leaves swirling outside. I was day-trading commodities at a computer terminal— and not doing very well at all. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a lady bug crawling up the window pane. But the market was crazy and I had to keep a close eye on it, but even so, I did notice that after the lady bug made its long, slow climb up the window to the wooden divider that it fell all the way back down to where it started from.
     The market was ripping the wrong way
though and I had to be ready to pull the trigger to get out. I didn't have time to be watching a lady bug. But I'll be damned if I didn't turn my head to see that lady bug make another go of climbing up the window. So slowly, it centimetered its way up. But the market ... I was getting killed. But I turned once again just as that lady bug got to the wood divider again and— down she went again.
     Whatever. Hundreds of dollars I could not afford to lose were flowing out of my trading account. I had my finger on the speed dial button of my broker, ready to bail. But the market up-ticked for a bit, but no, then it headed south again. I really needed to get out. And I don't know why, but I turned again and yep, that stupid, doggedly determined lady bug was in the process of making the long trek up the window pane yet again.
     That did it! I jumped up, got a piece of paper and set it on the window so the lady bug crawled onto it, and then I ran down four flight of stairs and released the lady bug outside. The lady bug flew off, caught up by a gust of wind to God knows where.
     Meanwhile I ran back upstairs. And now, I would really like to be able to tell you that when I looked at the computer the market had turned my way, but it hadn't. In fact, I'd lost another hundred. But you know what— I felt better. I simply could not have stood to see that little bug get to that wood divider and fall down again. Not when it was trying so hard. And granted, it was stupid in the way it was trying, but it didn't matter. I was not going to see it fail again.
     Now here's the deal. I'm the lady bug. You're the lady bug. And there's a power in the universe that is watching us climb up our window panes. And I'm telling you, it can not stand to see us hit that wood divider YET AGAIN and fall back down. Just like me, that power can't sit in its seat any more. It's impossible. It's jumping up, getting us off that window pane and taking us to where we should be, where we can fly off and live the kind of lives we should be living.
     But you gotta make the effort. If the ladybug had said to itself: "What the hell, I've already been up this window so many times, I might as well hang out at the bottom and take it easy" it would have never got the help.
     Effort, maximum effort, is magic. There is absolute magic in it. Our effort is synergized. It is exploded by a power that tremendously exceeds what we could ever do on our own. And yes, we can make the same stupid sort of effort the lady bug made. It doesn't matter what kind of effort it is— the power of the universe can not resist aiding it.
     I forget where I heard this, but the story was of a train porter who was responsible for opening and shutting the doors at each train stop. A  passenger sitting nearby noticed that he would leave the doors lingering open for some people and yet shut the doors abruptly on others.
     She asked him how he went about deciding to shut the doors.
     He said, 'Well, the way I look at it, if someone is running to make the train, I'll leave the doors open for as long as it takes them to get here. But if they're just walking slowly towards me, those doors are shutting. In other words, if they're trying, I'm buying."
     How hard are you trying? Are you willing to give it one more shot? It might make ALL the difference.

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