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“When you get into a tight space and everything goes against you…never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe
“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
A true story: On the cold, windswept shores of Lake Michigan a young man stood, discouraged and upset. ready to fling himself into the freezing waters below him. He was a 32-year-old bankrupt dropout who felt he had no future. As he contemplated ending it ll, he happened to lift his gaze to the night sky above him — a starry heaven shimmered with beauty. In that moment, he felt a surge of awe so powerful, it overcame his hopelessness. In that instant, a thought flashed through his mind: You have no right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe.
R. Buckminster Fuller turned his back of that freezing lake and left his despair on its shores. He went on to launch a remarkable career. Best known as the creator of the geodesic dome, over his long, fruitful lifespan he garnered 170 patents and won worldwide admiration for his creativity as an engineer, mathematician, architect, and poet.
What an instructive, inspiring tale! How amazing that in the moment of his deepest despair, Buckminster stared up at the stars and found hope among them and then gathered the courage to let his creativity shine.
We’ve all been in those “tight places” that Harriet Beecher Stowe speaks of — where everything seems to be going against us. We may even be in one right now. We may feel discouraged, stuck, overcome with writer’s block — our creative well may seem empty. But like Buckminster and Harriet, if we can just look up and refuse to give up, then surely, the tide will turn for us, too, just as it did for them.
So if we’ve hit a rough patch, let’s look up — let’s remember how wide and wonderful the world is, how full of promise. And let’s remember that we are of that world: we belong to the universe. We have a part to play in its vast design: We have something to say and only we can say it in our own unique way. Write on!