How about that Super Bowl! Did you get to watch it? I can’t remember the last one that I have watched, but this one was really a good show. Lorraine and I enjoyed ourselves just hoping the best team would win. You know what? The best team certainly gave us an example of my credo. What’s that? You don’t know what my credo is or whether it had anything to do with the Super Bowl?
Lorraine looked at me with an arched eyebrow and asked if my mind was getting weak. “George, you know why Kansas won that game.” This was said as a statement not a question. I stared at the blinking cursor for a while. Then I surrendered. OK, you win. How do I know why the Chiefs won? Again she had me digging through my feeble brain. What could she mean by telling me I have some sort of magic ability to influence the end of that game? I pushed back from the desk and turned to look at her.
“George, you have taught me the reason for many things. Perhaps the game of football illustrates what you have told me and your kids when we are up against the wall. I remember you telling Reed when you two were working on his Jeep.” Reed and I had to tear his Jeep down to the smallest bolt when we had pulled it into the driveway. I couldn’t see what that had to do with the best team, but I knew the answer would soon be forthcoming.
When Reed would get flustered because of a problem, you would turn to him and ask him to remember, “It is only a bolt, Reed. It doesn’t like you or hate you, it is simply doing what it was made for. You can certainly outthink a bolt. Just keep trying! It will bend to your strength and knowledge, just stay at it and never get to the point where the bolt will beat you.”
That’s what happened yesterday. The quarterback, Mahomes, never gave up and he wasn’t going to let an inferior team beat the Chiefs. He just kept it in his mind that he was not going to lose and his demeanor fired up his team. His team believed in him and he instilled his “never give up attitude” within his team to fight to the last down. It’s a good thing he felt the way because I believe that he knew he was going to win.
I can’t tell you exactly when I adopted that manner of living. I can point to certain times in my life when I just felt that the answer was not always to give up and ask for help. Don’t get me wrong, I have asked for help. I have been in a situation where I knew a wrong answer to a particular question could cost someone their life. How do you get to the point in your life where your decisions can cost a life?
How I did it is exactly the way Lorraine has adopted the manner. I just started to believe that I could get out of trouble if I tried hard enough. My dad was my early teacher. Being a cripple never seemed to bother my dad.
Often, when I was but a child, I would look for him and finally find him changing the tools that attached to the rear of a tractor or adjusting the power take-off so he could get the cultivating done. This was a two-man job, but he would not wait for another person when he knew he could finish it himself.
To understand how my dad would never ask for help, you have to know that he also lived by the thought that he could do anything, and to be honest I never saw him ask for help. I can remember that he was pretty quick to point out that I was smarter than what ever it was he was doing.
I won’t compare my Pop with anyone or try to tell you that he was more special than your dad. But I can tell you he never gave up on a problem. He could do complex arithmetic problems in his head and he encouraged me to do the same. I got pretty good at it for a while, but if you don’t use a tool it will grow dull, and that’s what happened to me. I joined the Army where math problems don’t show up often. However, joining the Army was a good thing too. I learned that there were a lot of guys that weren’t as blessed as I was.
When I had a problem in the military, I just kept knocking at the door of enlightenment. Praying was not forgotten either. A conversation with God or one of His disciples always seems like a good thing. It’s not hard to believe in yourself or in the works of God and His disciples. Whichever you choose is never a bad thing.
If the two best teams in professional football can come together and one of the teams gets behind in the final moments of the game and then pulls the play of the day to win, you can understand how they won. They won because of a mindset that seemed to glow from the uniforms.
Even as the Chiefs were put behind by two touchdowns, they never gave up. If you look at a replay of the touchdowns, look at the eyes of the winners. They never gave up. They put everything that wasn’t winning out of their minds and went on to believe in their own ability and went on to win.
I have a wish for you if you have children. Help them to believe in themselves, put their heads down, work hard and win. Preach to them about perseverance, and to believe in a higher power. He will be your best friend.