River Rats and Dog Fights

It’s common knowledge that water is an essential for life, but good old H2O is also a medium that can provide a great deal of pleasure. The love of water is in my DNA. Some of my earliest memories of my dad are water memories. These times of fishing the ponds of the Flint Hills and setting lines on the Arkansas River made river rats out of the Seymour boys.

On one of these trips the river was running high and Dad was wading the river to set limb lines. I was trying to follow in his steps, but I missed one and in the blink of an eye the current was carrying me down river. As I fought against the current, I yelled to Dad for help.

It’s been said that, its not size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters. Dad knew the dog he had drifting down the river wasn’t much more than a pup, so he did what he could–He brought out the fight in the dog.

By now I was far beyond the reach of Dad’s strong arm and the firm grip of his hand, but I could still hear his voice calling out to me: Swim to the bank, you can do it son. Take an angle against the current, you can do it.

Years later when I was floating a river and got caught in the undertow of a low water dam, I could hear the words of Dad once again: You can do it son, swim to the bank.

Mark Twain knew the value of people who will tell us that we can do it. He once said : Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Take a little time today to create a big moment in the life of another. Tell them you believe in them and they can do it.

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