Several decades ago while sitting in the midst of an awards banquet honoring the year’s most successful Realtors, I watched with interest as the newest member weaved through the many tables in order to receive the area’s most prestigious award. With a voice that showed astonishment more than personal pride, she clutched her award plaque tightly against her chest as she spontaneously began to list the many failed attempts she had made during her lifetime of earning a living. Five minutes later the room echoed with laughter while she still recited her list. Like Thomas Edison, she had successfully failed many times before discovering her own shining light.
Pieces of several large shipping boxes were scattered in disarray all over the floor. The owner of the new desktop computer shimmied on his back until one leg stuck out in awkward angle from the front of the desk while the other leg was pushing on the bottom of the drawer. After three hours of trying to relate the English part of the owner’s manual to the various parts of a computer, his perplexity had turned to an annoyed anguish. Gathering three leftover wires with odd-looking plugs on each end, he plopped them into the hands of his ever patient wife, exclaiming, “As soon as you figure out which plug goes into which socket, I’m sure everything will work out just fine.” With that proclamation, he left the room.
“What is the bear’s story?” the kindergarten teacher asked the five-year-olds gathered around her. She held up a teddy bear with bright eyes and brown fur; rather ordinary looking, he was dear to her pupils. She asked, “Where does the bear live? What does he like to do? What is important to him?”
One by one, eager voices named the bear, gave him a history, and projected their own likes and dislikes onto him, imaginatively creating a personality and an imposed life for their very special stuffed bear.