Miller: Keep on keeping on

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

This was one of those mornings when nothing and everything seemed to call for my attention. The plants needed watering, laundry needed folding, and on and on the morning went until I finally said enough already! It’s time to get to the important things I need to do today!

When I sat down to write my column (which was one of the more important things on my list) I realized how vital it is to stay with something and not get distracted. I’m reminded of one of Aesop’s Fables, The Tortoise and the Hare.

This fable is credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller, who is believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 B.C. The fables were originally passed down in oral form. They were only written about three centuries after Aesop’s death. When printing began, collections of Aesop’s fables were some of the earliest books in a variety of languages.

In this fable the egotistical hare challenges the tortoise to a race. The hare was so far ahead he decided to take a nap, but the tortoise plodded on. The self-assured hare discounted the tortoise, but in the end the tortoise crossed the finish line first.

There are many ways to interpret this fable, but the way I see it is slow and steady wins the race. When I set a goal for myself and don’t see quick progress the tendency might be to give up trying. But what a mistake that would have been for many, many people.

Colonel Harland Sanders left school in the seventh grade and had a poor track record until the age of 40. He finally settled down and opened a small restaurant in the apartment next to the gas station where he worked. When he was 62 he opened his first Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the rest is history.

Julia Child couldn’t cook when she graduated college. She worked in advertising and later in government intelligence. During the course of her life, she fell in love with French cuisine and started trying French recipes. She wrote her first cookbook at the age of 50 and became one of the top French chefs in the world. Julia Child became the first woman to be inducted in the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame.

Laura Ingalls Wilder was a seamstress who quit school at 16. She started writing in her 40s, but it took her 20 years to finally write “Little House in the Big Woods” which catapulted her to popularity.

Grandma Moses attended a one-room school for a brief period of time. When she was in her 60s she started painting. Her work was not noticed for 10 years, but her paintings grace the halls of the Smithsonian American Art Museum as well as other notable museums. She produced close to 1,500 pieces before she passed at the age of 101.

Ever want to give up on a dream? Remember these folks and keep on keeping on.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at