When I was little, my mom would read me a story called “The Little Engine That Could.”
Looking back now, I think that was probably the first self-help book I ever read.
The whole moral of the story can basically be summed up as a reminder to assume you can, rather than to assume you can’t.
And yet somehow, as I’ve grown up, certain events seem to have been permanently relegated to the “can’t” category.
Take, for example, a group of homo sapiens gathering together. Here, the purpose of the gathering doesn’t matter. Neither do the demographics.
Just the simple fact that a few or many human beings are congregated in a single place is automatically a recipe for potential discord or worse in my book.
The news doesn’t do anything to dispel this assumption. With near-daily reports on looting, shooting, fighting, and other examples of general human heinousness, it is easy to assume we have lost all ability to get along with one another.
And then the solar eclipse happened. Monday, August 21, the moon crossed in front of the sun. In some places this occurred for just a brief few minutes. In other places, the passage (total or partial) took an hour or two to complete.
But during all that time, as Time magazine later reported, no one shot anything, stole anything, punched anything or even shouted at anyone.
With a record number of folks crammed into tiny towns with few services in stop/start traffic all along the path of eclipse totality, with many folks arriving a few days or more before the actual event, I found this quite simply amazing.
The stuff of dreams come true.
It would seem that, when we grow up, the little train that could becomes a solar eclipse, mentoring us all to remember that when we want something badly enough, even peace becomes possible.
Today’s Takeaway: Can you think of another time in your lifetime when an event occurred that in its own way was so unifying that large groups of people gathered and not a single soul was harmed? What do you think was the reason for such unusual peace?