November 14 – The miracle that elevates the few

November 14. “The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit.” (Mark Twain)

When I industriously apply myself, and persevere with a brave determined spirit, miracles will occur? That is what Twain is seeming to say with this quote. At the very least, something powerful will elevate me and make me part of “the few”.

All of us, to some degree or another, aspire to be among the few. We want to raise ourselves above the crowd in some aspect of our lives. We want to shine, to be recognized and praised for our accomplishments. At least, I know, I do.

I had a strong work ethic ingrained in me by my family and teachers as a boy. I learned that the result of hard work is its own reward, that when I put forth my level best, then I can keep my head high and walk with a spring in my step. As a result, when I am not putting out my best effort, I feel it within.

I don’t think that Mark Twain was creating a particular formula here. I don’t think he meant to say that ALL who apply themselves industriously with a brave and determined spirit would be elevated. Instead he shows it as a common bond among those that are, and offers a glimpse to their success. While not all who show these characteristics will rise up and shine in the public eye, they will nonetheless rise up. They will find their own, personal height, and from there will shine.

Today my reflection is on how much I really use my industrious nature to help myself rise up. Am I putting forth my level best in all areas of my life? Or do I sometimes just ride the waves in some areas while I focus on others? I am not sure that’s a bad thing to do, but it is something for me to ponder.

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