1. When our oldest daughter Camille was about three years old, my husband and I went to Dairy Queen to buy blizzards. We ordered mediums for the two of us and a small for Camille. My husband suggested we get her a medium as well (he wasn't thinking what would be best for her health, but rather what she would enjoy). I said to him, "She can't eat that much". From the back of the car we heard a very emphatic, "Yes. I. Can!" And she did.
We laughed at the bold determination of a small child. She was not going to be told what she could or couldn't do, but rather make that decision herself. And the stubbornness that was exhibited then has continued with her and has been put to good use.
2. Today is my brother's birthday and so my next story is about him. Mark received a mission call to Japan and therefore, obviously, needed to learn Japanese--a rather difficult language. While in the MTC he struggled with even the basics. After a short time one of his teachers suggested Mark talk to the MTC President about getting his mission call changed to an English speaking mission.
Mark's response to being told he couldn't do it? He just thought, "Yes I can". And he did. With a great deal of hard work and prayer, Mark learned the language well and later served as an assistant to his mission president.
3. When my daughter Kristen was in 5th grade, she wanted to play the flute in the school band. So she borrowed her older sister's flute and began attending band class. By the end of the first semester all she could play was a B flat. Luckily she could read music so she always knew when the note was coming so she could play it with everyone else. By the end of the year she could finally play a scale.
Also at the end of the year her teacher made two observations which he shared with her. The first was that she played the flute like a fish. The second was that she would never learn to play the flute well and should therefore consider playing another instrument that didn't require as much talent--like the drums (his suggestion).
So what was Kristen's response when told she would never learn to play the flute? She thought, "Yes I can." And she did. Kristen continued practicing and in both 7th and 8th grade was not only first chair, but also earned All State Honors.
So what is the moral of my stories?
Don't ever let anyone tell you, you can't do something, because chances are, you can!