Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Clerk


Several years ago our family was traveling through Ulysses S. Grant’s hometown of Galena, Illinois. After having stopped and gathered some brochures, I began reading them out loud. You can only imagine how much our three sons were enjoying that. There were many interesting facts about this president to be learned, but the thing that got our attention was the fact that in nine short years, Ulysses S. Grant went from being a store clerk in his father’s leather shop(1861) to being elected the eighteenth president of the United States (1869). When my oldest son heard this, his comment was, “Wow, he must have been some clerk!”

How I envy the person that does their best no matter the circumstance. They never stop moving forward, learning, discovering, exploring. These people ooze with determination. They see life from all sides and different angles and then act.

I am not a scholar when it comes to the life and times of our President Grant. But I do know even with the mistakes he made during his presidency, he made a difference in this world. I would venture to say that had he stayed a store clerk, he still probably would have made a difference to those around him—people like him are just that way.

I want to be like that, don’t you? I want to let nothing stop me from being my best self. However, pessimism preys outside my dreams, just waiting to rip them to shreds with its fangs of self-doubt--in the end threatening to make me perform less than my best.

Ulysses S. Grant, the clerk, wore the self-doubt beast down. Ulysses S. Grant, the president,
buried him for good.

We can too.

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