“Can’t Never Did Anything…”  Do two wrongs make a right, (grammatically)?  Yes, why not?  I’m always going with yes, and it’s a story that has stuck with me since I was in the 5th grade.  Funny story here, you can ask any and all of my past /present clients, about what this phrase means to me, my training, my beliefs, and my beliefs in people.  They hate it when I say, “Did I ever tell you about my 5th grade teacher…”


My 5th grade teacher was Mrs. (Carol) Adams; funny how it’s even hard for me to imagine calling her Carol, I mean come on, I was in the 5th grade!  She was my favorite grade school teacher.  Now, that’s what I grew up with; a grade school, high school, and college.  Never heard about pre-kindergarten, mid-school, Jr. high, and whatever else is out there right now!  Anyway, Mrs. Adams, ( who I think that I had a crush on!), would always explain something on a topic, and then would call on the class, for the answer to her question.  If anyone ever said “I can’t…” , she would immediately interrupt them, and say “Can’t never did anything!”  She would say that with such conviction, that, well it’s stuck with me throughout my years.  I use it with all of my business; “I can’t lift that,,,”, I’m too tired, I can’t go on…” “My mind isn’t in it today, I can’t …” , can’t, can’t “CAN’T”!!!  Stop, O.K???   That’s just an ugly word; any negative word is an ugly word.  Negative words are used so commonly now, it’s like the old saying, “stop crying wolf all of the time”!


I’m writing about this ugly word, because there’s so many great words, and great events in this world, and yet it seems that everybody seems to want to impress others by telling of a story, that is ugly, and a lot of times political ugliness.  That’s enough of my comment on that, please remember of all of the beauty that greets us every day, and what we’ve done, (and I mean ALL of us), that has meant something very positive to another person, and that could mean at that moment when you might be talking to someone, or a year or so, down the road and someone taps you on the shoulder, and says that you said something that has stuck with them from last year, and how much it inspired them, or changed them, or made them see the beauty of themselves, by something that you said.  What a feeling; and I’ll tell you what, sometime you never get that tap, but trust me, that tap really was there you just didn’t feel it, it has happened to all of us.


My neurosurgeon who removed a tumor from head, asked me about accompanying him to his class of speaking to second year intern Drs., and me speaking to his class, about some of my events when I was at the hospital as a patient, and that those would be some of the events that would occur to most, if not all, of them as doctors.  One hundred and eighty students, it was so cool, and inspiring even to me!  I told them of the good, the bad, and the ugly, of my experiences.  Ninety percent of mine were good events, the rest were the bad/ugly events, that will come up to every doctor, at some point in time for them.  Then there was Q & A, for the doctor, and for me.  A LOT of interesting questions, and I found out about a lot of interesting emotions that came from some in the audience.


Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing you might have entertained angels without knowing it”  Hebrews 13:2


After the class ended, an intern came up to me in a wheelchair, she had a tumor removed from her spine 2 weeks ago, and her doctor advised her not to come to class for another week, for the strain on her body.  She told me that she knew that she had to come to this class, and that she was so overcome by my story, she became very emotional, which meant, so did I!  I know a lot about the emotional aspects when someone has a surgery; the frustrations, the questions on whether a person will recover to what they “used” to be, anguish, all of that negative impulse comes in this area of post surgery.  What I say when I’m speaking to people, is simply my story, but sometimes my words come out to affect someone,  and me not knowing who that someone might be.  She told me that what I experienced was what she experienced, and that I gave her hope; simply that, gave her hope.  I didn’t even know that she was at the class.  So maybe I gave her hope, but what she did to me, made me think that she is, and will be, the angel who was entertained, because a word, a story, anything that matters to someone personally, without me aware of who is listening, is my angel.  All of you, know that, we all are affecting someone, and someone out there is affecting us.  Let’s try to be more positive, less negative stories, and know, and really know this, that you will affect someone in a positive way.  With that in mind, I came upon a story about the word “Can’t”.  Read it, and let it soak into your soul.


Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken;
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can’t is the father of feeble endeavor,
The parent of terror and half-hearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing;
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man’s purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you some day shall gain.

Can’t is the word that is foe to ambition,
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed ’twill break any man;
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
And answer this demon by saying: “I can.”


Can is a beautiful word…




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