“Imagination is the true magic carpet.”
Norman Vincent Peale, author and minister
Chances are you’ve heard of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee.
Their mission is research and treatment of children with cancer or other life-threatening illness. They opened the door for their first patient in 1962. The idea and vision for this special place came from entertainer Danny Thomas. In 1940 Mr. Thomas was facing a bleak future. He was out of money and out of luck. With a young family to support, Danny prayed to Saint Jude asking for help in finding his path in show business. The prayer ended with a promise that if things worked out somehow Danny would create a shrine to Saint Jude.
Danny Thomas became a super successful actor, comic, and producer.
Fast forward to today. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats children from all over the world, charging them nothing and sharing research wherever it will help. A promise made and a promise kept that keeps on giving. Mr. Thomas was awarded The Congressional Gold Medal by President Reagan for this brilliant contribution to the world.
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The signature part of Danny’s comedy routine was, The Jack Story.
“A salesman is stuck on a lonely country road at night with a flat tire and no jack so he needs to borrow or rent one.
The salesman starts walking toward a service station about a mile away. He’s talking to himself as he walks. How much can he charge me for renting a jack? One dollar, maybe two. But it’s the middle of the night, so maybe there’s an after hours fee. Probably another five dollars. If he’s anything like my brother-in-law, he’ll figure I got no place else to go for the jack, so he’s cornered the market and has me at his mercy. Ten dollars more.”
Danny would drag the story on and on with the worse possible outcomes for his problem. When the poor man finally makes it to the service station the owner asks how he can help.
The salesman explodes. “You got the nerve to talk to me, you robber. You can take your stinkin’ jack and shove it up your …”
Mr. Thomas remarked that in his whole career he never had to say that last word. The audience was so in tune with the story and laughing so hard, he didn’t have to say it.
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So what about your Jack Story?
How do you use your imagination?
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
If you’re going to be a prophet, why not be a positive prophet? Look for and believe that you’ll find the best in people. And when you need to, you’ll come up with great ideas and see the beautiful possibilities with each sunrise. Most of all, when you need a jack, someone will be more than happy to help you.