I overheard a man talking to his small son yesterday. He said, “Nothing’s impossible son...”
That’s OK, I thought, the kid’s had a tough day; life’s not always easy, and a few words of encouragement never hurt anyone. Then the whole thing fell apart when the next thing the bloke said was, “Don’t worry about it.”
“Don’t worry about it”! What the hell is that?
If you’re going to say, “Nothing’s impossible son”, you’d bloody better end that sentence with something more appropriate; you’d bloody better go on to say that life’s tough, but with the right amount of hard work, dedication, time and application it is possible to succeed, that, eventually, you might climb the slippery slope of whatever your particular something is, and achieve a modicum of what you might have been hoping for.
The last thing you should say after, “Nothing’s impossible” is, “Don’t worry about it”.
What is wrong with people?
It’s like when I hear some whining teen say, “I just want to be liked for who I am” when I know for a fact that she’s a spoilt brat. The answer to that is, “Then be the best person you can be, and you will be liked”.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, people. When are we ever going to learn that? And, more importantly, when are we going to start teaching it to our children?
I am not suggesting for a moment that everyone doesn’t have value; I am suggesting that we value people honestly. What is the point of telling a plain girl that she’s beautiful or a dull boy that he’s clever? Or the other way around for that matter?
I know you’re thinking that it’s easy for me. I know you’re thinking that I was the clever, pretty woman and that I was handed it all on a plate. Well, I’ll tell you what my problem is, shall I? Apart from the fact that I’m not remotely athletic, which I’m not, and that I don’t hold information in my head for long, that I’m scatter-brained, and that I tend to put off until tomorrow what I could easily accomplish today? Apart from all of those very ordinary foibles, and we all have them, and the best of us do try to do something about them, shall I tell you what my problem is?
My problem is that I don’t like doing things I’m not good at.
There you are... That’s terrible isn’t it? But, honestly, I just don’t see the point, and I’ve never seen the point. I bloody did do the things I wasn’t good at, though. Still do. When I had to do Geography and PE, I bloody did them. I didn’t bunk off or forge a sick note; OK, I didn’t throw myself into them body and soul, but I had to be there, so I bloody got on with it, because that’s what I was taught to do, that’s what was expected of me.
The same thing applies to work now. I’m not a hugely organised person and I don’t hold information in my head, so research isn’t my favourite part of this job, but you can’t just make shit up... apart from the shit you make up, obviously. I was asked, recently, about that. I was asked about Geography, so that if I set a story in Paris, would I just make up an area of Paris and plonk in whatever I needed? I thought it an interesting question, and a perfectly valid one, and the answer is, of course, no. If I set a story in contemporary Paris, I’d research the area, and the shops, cafes, houses, buildings, streets would be real, right down to the street lamps, trees, types of windows and window treatments, if at all possible.
So no, nothing is impossible, but yes, we do need to worry about it, and don’t you let anyone tell you otherwise. Worrying is good and useful and it will get you what you want... maybe... eventually.