“Either you are a puppet or a puppeteer, there is no, in between.”

Akshay Vasu, author


One of my childhood adventures took place on the sixth floor assembly area of a downtown department store. I was there to see a puppet show. I don’t have a clue what the show was about.

What stays in my memory was my fascination with the puppeteers perched above the stage. Their job was to pull the strings attached to the puppets making them move and dance. That was over sixty years ago.

It has been a slow climb up the show business ladder. But I’m happy to report I have now moved from the audience to the stage. I am a puppeteer in an anti-bullying show for young children. After answering an ad and a short audition, I became the voice of Monk which is short for monkey. His friends are Elle and Tiggy –  an elephant and tiger, who join forces with their teacher Mrs. Bear to show mean mister Lion bullying is wrong and there are benefits to being kind.

Unlike those puppets I saw all those years ago, the puppets in the show I’m doing now are hand puppets, no strings attached. So that brings us to a new twist on an old quote by our friend, William Shakespeare. “All the world is a stage and we are all puppets.” And the question I have for you now is whose hand is up your puppet or who is pulling the strings attached to your marionette?

“Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”

C.S. Lewis, author

Not long ago, Corporal Kyle Carpenter was awarded The Medal of Honor. As a twenty one year old Marine serving in Afghanistan, he threw himself on a grenade to save his best friend. It took military doctors over forty surgeries and two and a half years to put him back together. In his book, You Are Worth It, Kyle talks openly about a breakdown as he struggled with recovery. He came to the conclusion that if he gave up on life then the enemy who threw the grenade would win. And so Kyle chose to live a full life as best he could. He was going to be the puppeteer, the one pulling the strings.

If the book, Mans Search For Meaning, is not on your reading list, it should be. The author, Viktor Frankl, was a renown psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor. Having lost family and all his worldly possessions, Frankl made this observation which, in part, enabled him to survive, “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

So it should be with all of us, don’t give up your strings to adversity, you are in charge.