“Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”
John Wayne, actor
Once upon a time The Ohio State Football team had a mammoth player called, The Pancake.” he was given that title because everything that got in his way ended up, you guessed it, “Flat as a pancake.”
Since time began, all great philosophers have come to the same conclusion, “No matter how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides.”
Those great philosophers also agree it doesn’t matter how tall you are, how much money you have in the bank, who your friends are, where you went to school, or what kind of car you drive – without a trace of discrimination, life will pull your name out of the hat and squash you and your dreams – “Flat as a pancake.” It’s part of the trade-off for life on this planet.
Your “Pancake Experience” may come in the form of an accident, illness, financial setback, broken relationship, drug addiction or war. It could be all the above or a whole lot more. The point is, it will happen. When it does, remember those great philosophers, “A pancake always has two sides.”
You can flip it to whichever side you choose. The spatula is in your hand. You can make the experience work for you. It can make you smarter and stronger. Your other choice is to let that same experience make you bitter, angry, and even flatter.
Enter John Wayne known as “The Duke.” With the magic of video, he rides on. Forty years after his death, you’ll still find his name on the list of favorite actors. He was tough. His image is often the yardstick used to measure manhood. On my first day of boot camp in the Marines, the platoon lined up to meet our drill instructors.
“How many John Waynes do we have here?” Gunnery Sergeant Newman wanted to know. “We want more John Waynes not Gomer Pyles.”
The Searchers is one of favorite films staring John Wayne. In one scene, “The Duke” offers some sage advice. His family has been killed by Indians. At the funeral, the preacher drones on and on. John Wayne, ready to go after the Indians, interrupts the service with these immortal words, “Put an amen to it.”
Then he rides off to fight the good fight. That’s the lesson. “Put an amen to it.” “Amen to what?” you say.
Remember that pancake experience. You’re hurt. You’re lonely. You’re sick. You’re tired. You’re broken. That’s okay. Be those things. Grief is important. Don’t deny it. That side of the pancake has to cook too. Would you sit down to a breakfast of pancakes that had only been cooked on one side? My guess is no.
There is a time to cry. There is also a time to flip the pancake. “Put an amen to the hurt.”
Life is waiting. Saddle up your horse. Fight the good fight.
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