Keepin' On

"I figure I can either quit, or keep on going. I choose Keepin' On."

My Mission Position

I am driving east on I-90 looking for a sign. It is three lanes in either direction and I am in the middle lane. Two cars pass me on my left and right. One license plate reads “HUH-UH” and the other reads “UH HUH.” I do not know if they are traveling together, but it is an amazing moment. Business and personal cards have been around for a long time, but several years back it became possible for regular people to have some special, personal comment on their license plate. Driving has not been the same since.

I am frequently entertained by the personal plates I see as I drive along. If you are one of those who own an attention-grabbing one, thanks! What an even more interesting world it is now that we can print a personal “mission” statement or message to the world on our plates. As long as it is not overtly offensive and fits in the small space allowed, the only limit is our own creativity. The last time I recall a similar explosion of pithy communication was in the ‘60’s with buttons.

The first button I remember noticing proclaimed, “Frodo Lives!” Frodo is of course the main character in “Lord of the Rings,” a very hot property today, but strictly nerdville in 1967. I did not know who Frodo was back then but seeing that his message bearer was an attractive young lady, I asked. A few weeks later, I was hooked. Not, alas, with the young lady, but on Tolkein’s majestic books. She, however, had fulfilled her mission and had brought a non-believer into the fold.

Thousands of buttons and their messages intrigued and insulted us during those years. Some of them changed our lives, and our history. This is the power of knowing your mission and your message.

It can be overdone, of course. Once, when I worked at a nursing home, a group of us blew a perfectly good weekend coming up with a mission statement. We rambled all around from stating nothing to way too much when all we needed to declare was, “We take really good care of old people.” Still, the idea of knowing what your mission is can be very helpful when you are struggling with an important decision like should you get out of bed and do something with your life.

Let us imagine that you are just now waking up. You are wondering, “Should I get out of bed today and do something?” Then you think of your mission statement and, whammo, up you pop, right out of bed and into the world. Of course, it does not always work quite that fast. If it did, many of us would be so excited that we would race out in our underwear. That leads me to one of my main missions in life – to make sure we are all wearing pants. No, wait, that is not my mission, although it is a mighty good one. My mission statement is simple. What wakes me up and gets me going every morning is, “I might get to help somebody today in my own little way.” “Huh-uh!” you say. “Uh-Huh!” says I.

Your Keeping’ On Tip for the Day:

Know Your Mission

About Jim Thomson

Husband, father, grandfather, counselor, and writer.

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