Grasping the Nettle

I feel very privileged in my life to have had many memorable teachers and mentors to guide me. I could not imagine what my life would have been like without them. Their wisdom, insight into situations or guidance always seemed to have come at the right moment.

Looking back, I remember one teacher, Mr. Hartman. He was my social studies teacher at West Junior High on Long Island. He was ALWAYS magnificent in telling us stories that made an impact on our lives.

The one story that I would like to talk about is “Grasping the Nettle”. You might ask, what is a nettle? A nettle is a prickly plant. If you grab hold of the plant, it will sting.

The essence of the story went like this… Life can bring us simple and easy things… But a lot of times life brings us difficult things we need to tackle. Hard decisions; disappointments; failures and setbacks. When life gets tough, you grasp the nettle. You grab hold of the hard things and work through them. Tackle the problem boldly.

While preparing for a “Coffee Talk” recently, I interjected this story to help people thing about a growth mindset. In the discussion, a participant looked up “Grasping the Nettle”. They found this poem by Robert Lindsay. It reads:

I was born of Mother Nature
Bold and meek

I was born of father time
To plot my passing through this time

I was born and I will die
Life is now, next life is a lie

Grasp the nettle, seize the day!
And argue with me, as you may

For gain, for loss…
No man can say

Just live
Just live, OK?”

Through these times… what is it that you are struggling with? Seize the day! Grasp the Nettle! And, live your life. Live it to your fullest potential.

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