“There’s an old story circulating in writers’ circles. It’s about a writer who lived in the outer regions of Alaska a long time ago. One day he decided to take a journey to a place called New York. He made the trip, then came back to his people. He wanted to tell them everything he had seen: ‘They have skyscrapers. Airplanes. Vehicles that go very fast and don’t need dogs to pull them. Things that you can’t image or comprehend I have seen.’
The people in his hometown pooh-poohed him. They couldn’t imagine it, so they thought he was lying, making it all up. The writer took another trip to New York. When he came back this time, he used a different approach.
“It’s okay there,” he said. “They have a couple roads and it’s a little warmer. No big deal.”
Well, when he said this all the people oohed and aahed. He had told them something they could comprehend, something their minds could take in, something that was palatable and digestible enough for them to believe.”
–Choices: Taking Control of Your Life and Making It Matter by Melody Beattie
I loved this the moment I read it. In fact, it has inspired a list of thoughts/comments/observations:
- You’re only limited by what you can imagine.
- Trust your own eyes. What you see is worth observing.
- Just because someone else doesn’t see it, understand it, or believe it, doesn’t make it less true.
- Just because something’s old doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.
- Even the best writers recycle stories.
- You should visit New York if you get the chance.
- Likewise, you should really visit Alaska too.
- The word “pooh-poohed” is sorely underused in our daily conversations.
- People, operating as one mass, are often stupid.
- Tell your story no matter who listens.
- Dogs are valuable anywhere – to pull sleighs or just to cuddle up with.
- Revisit old observations and journeys. They are worth revaluing.
- Sometimes, all you need is a different approach.
- And sometimes, a different approach won’t change anything or anyone except you.
- Understatement is a dying art.
- Don’t be surprised if a forward-thinking idea gives some people indigestion.
- Living in the outer edge of the world doesn’t mean you’re a fool.
- If you want to see more than your place of the world: travel.
- Read with caution: sometimes writers do make stuff up.
- Everything in life is a choice.
Background picture of New York courtesy of CopyrightFreePhotos.com