Life Lessons

What You Can Do is Often Simply a Matter of What You Will Do

cfyouthEvery fiber of my being is exhausted, but my heart is singing. The youth have come and gone, but their impact lingers on. Five-hundred thousand marchers, forty kids, one amazing mobilization.

They came with hope and left empowered. They left behind for the rest of us a renewed belief in what is possible.

I found myself returning the great wisdom of Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth.

As the cheering continued, Rhyme leaned forward and touched Milo gently on the arm.

“They’re shouting for you,” she said with a smile.

“But I couldn’t have done it,” he objected, “without everyone else’s help.”

“That may be true,” said Reason gravely, “but you had the courage to try; and what you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do.”

“That’s why,” said Azaz, “there was one very important thing about your quest that we couldn’t discuss until you returned.”

“I remember,” said Milo eagerly, “Tell me now.”

“It was impossible,” said the king, looking at the Mathemagician.

“Completely impossible,” said the Mathemagician, looking at the king.

“Do you mean —-” stammered the bug, who suddenly felt a bit faint.

“Yes, indeed,” they repeated together; “but if we’d told you then, you might not have gone — and, as you’ve discovered, so many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they are impossible.”

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