Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yes I Can!! (Three Short Stories)

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!


Cherie said...

Amen to that!!
And why do people think they have the right to tell other people they cannot do something in the first place? A question I have always wondered about.
Great stories!
My son Taylor's best friend is a boy named A.J. He is not very tall but he really plays some mean basketball, he is also very skilled in baseball so much so that the High School coach last year REALLY wanted him on the team but A.J. told him that he was going to be playing basketball, including Summer basketball league (this is is true love).
The coach was a little peeved that A.J. was "wasting his baseball talent" and proceeded to tell him that he would never amount to anything in Basketball because he wasn't tall enough. That coach is eating his words as A.J. continues to excel in Basketball and is further driven to do so because of what that coach said.
I don't understand why anyone would try to squash someone else's dreams but I believe in the power of "I Can!".

Dave and Camille said...

Thanks for this great post. What's ironic is that now I can't even finish a small blizzard. Go figure!

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

It's amazing what you can really do when others say you can't!

Sue said...

Thanks for these great examples! And it's true. Much of success is plain old determination.


Rebecca Irvine said...

Determination is a great quality to have in life. Carrying on in the face of difficulty can be the key to conquering. These are great stories and I appreciate you sharing them because it helps me reach deeper inside.

PS, I hope your presentation last night went well.

Emma T said...

I totally agree. The problem for me, however, is I am usually the one telling myself I can't do it!! But I am now going to tell myself that I can!!

justmeagain said...

I love those stories. Especially the last one. I was told the same thing when I wanted to take dance lessons. After a few months the teacher told my mother that I would never be coordinated enough to be a dancer and to get my playing sports. Ha ha ha! The laugh was on me. I ended up sticking it out and became a dance major in college!!

justmeagain said...

oops, I meant I had the last laugh, not the laugh was on me. So, I obviously wasn't an English major. LOL

Be Thou Humble said...

Actually I am very grateful to Elder Harris who told me I would never make it at BYU because I was coming from such a "hick" town! I think the challenge and the opportunity to prove ourselves is sometimes just what we need!

I've been having my three younger ones repeat thoughts like "I am responsible! I am awesome! I will succeed!" every night as they check to make sure they've completed their list of top priorities. Maybe I should start having them say the opposite!

Shauna said...

I am new here! Just wanted to say hi :)
Shauna from

MissKris said...

Great stories! My favorite is the one about Camille. Hahaha how funny. I can't believe that you actually bought her one that big just for herself.
Thanks for posting. Your writing is always so fun to read.

Roger and LeAnn said...

Wow, I loved this post. These examples were so inspiring. Thanks you for sharing. I love to hear when someone proves they can do something really wonderful when they are told they can't.
Blessings and hugs to you! I loved it! LeAnn