Went to Trade Day again today. Been going there pretty regularly since they first started it, back down at the “Triangle Shopping Center” in Trion. It was a REAL Trade Day back then…with people actually “trading” for things…mostly knives, and even guns back in those days, guess it was the late 70’s. The owner there didn’t much care for it, so it moved to it’s current location down between Trion and Summerville. All these years since, I have been looking for the “Holy Grail” of Trade Day…otherwise know as “the great find” “the treasure” i.e. the one thing that will worth SO much money that I will be able to sell it at Christie’s or Sotheby’s for a cool million and live in the life of luxury from there on out. Only problem is, I have never found it… Oh, I have found some pretty good “STUFF” over the years. I’ve brought a lot of that “stuff” or “high class junk” home. My wife is pretty good about it. She let’s me bring it in the house and hardly says a word about it. Kinda’ Saintly really, considering some of the weird things I have thought were “treasures” over the years. I won’t go into detail about that right now…only to say that I owe her a lot of thanks for her patience. Being the wife of a “junker” is not an easy thing. I have found everything from oil paintings to deer antlers, I have found Japanese pottery, and Chinese statues. Pocket knives and Buddha’s. Baseball cards aplenty!! Old marbles, toys, books, clothes, cameras, military items, rings, and earrings, stamps, postcards, old letters, arrowheads, rocks …you name it, and I have bought it. I’ve found things that I thought were worth thousands…and it turned out they were worthless. I have got somethings for a quarter or fifty cents and sold them for more. But that elusive treasure, that Holy Grail, it’s still out there. One thing I have found though is a lot of friends. I have met people who would give you the shirt off of their back if you needed it. I have met people at Trade day who I count as some of my closest friends. People you can trust. I know some of these people, who would go five miles out of their way to pay you the dollar they owed your from last week. People who let you sit on the back of their truck and look through hundreds of dollars worth of stuff while they go about their business, or go to the bathroom or get a snack,..because they trust YOU. People like me…who are chasing that “Holy Grail” Some days, like today…it gets tiring to hunt it. I have plowed through more boxes of junk than most people will ever see, hunched over..prodding through the bottom, looking for that 22 karat gold necklace that weights a pound, or that undiscovered Picasso, or Van Gogh. Back hurting…sweat dripping..or freezing to death….I am there looking for it. One day it’s going to be there, and I won’t EVER have to go back to Trade Day again. One day… Anway, on Saturday if it’s not raining it’s back to the chase…
A story I was listening to on NPR today really caught my attention. It was about a blind man named Daniel Kish who lost both of his eyes to cancer as a young child. One would expect…yes a person’s expectation would be that this child would lead a sheltered and protected life. A life where his parents would protect him and seek to keep him from being harmed due to his “disability” But, Daniel Kish himself had differenct expectations for his life. He expected to be able to do things that normal sighted people could do.
He developed a system of his own, using vocal clicks as he moved about, in order to locate things around him. As he grew he became more adept at finding his way using this unique sonar system. He came to be able to do things that any normal sighted person could do. He rides a bycycle anywhere he wants to go. He can identifiy items exactly, using his sonar system. The main part of his philosopy is that he is not bound by other people’s expectations of what he, a blind man, should be. He essentially became a real “Batman”.
Therein lies the idea which made me think and reconsider expectations.
Our first set of the expectations are from our parents. We are guided into the precepts of their own expectations for us. Kids are expected to play sports, or to be involved in some way. We must keep our kids busy doing the things we expect a child of their age, in their environment, to do. If a child asks to do something out of the ordinary, we sometimes tell them they “can’t do” that. “Momma I want to be an artist”. You can’t do that…your too little. “Daddy, I want to be a writer”. Son, you know we’re already doing football. “Mom and Dad, I want to be the person who cures cancer”. “Mom and Dad, I want to discover how to exceed the speed of light”. Say what?
Then there are the limitations we put on ourselves about our abilities. “I want to be a writer…publish a book”. What you talking about boy…your 65 years old…an old man!”
“I want to start a new chapter in my life, I want to live to 100 years old, I want to discover new possibilities for my life that I never thought possible!” Everything is possible if we believe we can exceed our expectations. Contrary to a popular myth which says we only us 10% of our brains, we humans use practically every part of our brain. What we do not do is expect success which exceeds our wildest expectations.
We should never sell ourselves short. We certainly should not put limitations on the expectations of our family.
We should not only expect them, and ourselves to be Batman, we should expect Superman.