OLLIE OLLIE OXEN FREE!

image courtesy photo bucket.com

image courtesy photo bucket.com

Youngsters have a knack for turning the act of quitting into an art form, but they don’t use the boring and lame words adults do to describe their choices. Now I know its’s been a long time since I was a kid, but I remember some of the terminology. More that just a few of them passed over my lips.

I don’t know one single kid who didn’t love a good game of hide and go seek. Hiding was a blast, but making it back to tag “home base”, where the seeker did his or her counting, that sounded more like an auctioneer, was the best part.

If you got tagged before you could make it to home base, you’d be the next seeking speed counter. On occasion, when the perfect hiding place was discovered like Christopher Columbus did the New World, the seeker would give in or quit.

Of course “quitting” was much too dull a word to be used by the tongues that were in many cases still learning the alphabet. To give up or quit as the seeker you had to say the magic words, “Ollie ollie oxen free!” and presto – game over.

I was no stranger to being pinned with my back to the earth and one of my big brothers with their knees directly on my twig-like biceps, them sitting nonchalantly on my gut waiting for me to quit. Of course sometimes they’d “chicken peck” me on the chest to speed up the process.

Sometimes the term was “give”, but more en vogue at the time was to say “Uncle”… never could figure out why, but I mumbled the words more often than not all the same.

I have a ton of respect for people who don’t quit on the desires of their hearts. It’s easy to admire folks who won’t throw in the towel on their dreams or allow someone else to either.

Every single person wandering this globe faces adversity. Some folks, especially in other countries or tougher neighborhoods, bring a whole new meaning to that term.

I’ve come to realize with enough time and experience that passion is a necessity. I also think it’s a wonderful gift from God, along with the most important one called “free will” that we use to fuel the pursuit.

Even the word “passion” seems to pack a punch, it just sounds powerful. Indeed it is. But passion by itself isn’t enough. It’s like a trying to start a fire with a spark minus the fuel to burn. That fuel is perseverance.

If passion is king, then perseverance is queen…

I have to remind myself of these things every now and then. It’s good to remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination.

In business, every job lost or bidding not awarded, something is learned. With each rejection letter of a manuscript, something can be gained… and I mean more than a grimace on the face or the sinking of a stomach…

In this life, those things just come with the territory.