Positive Featured Inspirational Story - February 1 to March 31, 2012
As a little red-haired boy growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, there was nothing I wanted more than a pony. That was my life's dream, ambition and obsession.
While other boys were trading baseball cards, I was collecting
miniature horse statures. When friends wanted to go the movies or roller
skating, I had to first rule out any horse shows. By the age of eight,
if anything was clear to me it was that If I didn't get a pony,
everything would be wrong in my world. And I understood my only chance
was to win one. Thankfully, though our apartment was too small, with a
rent too large, my parents seemed happy to buy me a ticket for every
win-a-pony contest that came along. They also were quite good at
reminding me how greatly the 'odds' were stacked against me.
From a toddler until the age of ten, I entered every pony contest I could. Whether it was just stubbornness, or the beauty of innocence, or some kind of soul-certainty I was born with, I didn't believe that luck was a factor. No. What I believed, with every cell in my body, was that all I needed to do was stay focused on my plan and purpose, and keep trusting my heart. What I knew was that there was a pony stabled in my soul, waiting for me to find her. And that's what I prayed for every day.
Now . . . what kind of story would this be if I didn't reveal, after
such a heart-tugging lead in, that indeed (and in absolute joy) I did
finally win my pony!
What happened was . . . one day while watching my favourite western theme kids show on TV, I was shocked and surprised to hear the cowgirl hostess announce that the station was offering a free pony to any boy or girl who could make the best cattle brand out of their initials.
'Yee-hah! This is it!' My heart sang out. 'My pony is calling to me!' I was ecstatic!
Fuelled by a decade of longing, it only took me a couple of hours to take my initials - TAN - turn the A into a rounded upside down horseshoe, stretch the N across it like a lightning bolt, name it the 'Lightning-T-Horseshoe' . . . and race to the mailbox. Though I 'knew' instantly, it was three weeks later before the station called, announcing . . . 'Congratulations, Tommy, you won the pony!'
After that, everything worked out beautifully - I
appeared on TV to receive my pony, we found a little barn we could use,
and my father even got a promotion enabling us to stock up on plenty of
hay and oats. By the time the universe had wrapped up granting me this
great gift to myself, all my younger brother and I needed to do was -
walk about a mile to the barn, throw the red saddle on our beautiful
Shetland, and joyfully gallop around the country side - of course, flyin
off now and again.
Looking back as a white-haired grandfather who is still sharing pony stories with my children and their children, I am happy to remind everyone that the best way to realize your dreams is to trust your inner wisdom.
I believe William Jennings Bryan had it right when he offered . . . 'Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not to be waited for, it is to be achieved.'
Written by Thomas Newnam
Tom's wellspring (other
'ponies') include raising a healthy, happy family, while helping others
by working as - a special education teacher, probation officer,
psychotherapist, karate instructor, jazz drummer, watercolour artist and
most recently - authoring his newly released (by Barringer Publishers)
self-help book entitled . . . Memo From Your Soul.