“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” -Confucius
Life can easily become overwhelming. I have a knack for attracting more into a couple of hours than most people would consider in a couple of days. Today I got the physical evidence of how too much of a good thing is actually too much, but can also remain a good thing. As those of you who follow my positivity quest know, I have been leading a Positive Change high school club and creating a positivity memorial courtyard for the last two years. It has been a project that has taught me more about the real work of positivity than all that I thought I knew from reading and writing.
We have accomplished a lot so far, moved out 80 tons of broken cement, moved in 150 tons of gravel- all of this one wheel barrow at a time. Now we are set to make a grassy slope in the center of the courtyard and I have 6 truck loads of dirt that need to find a home somewhere in the slope that has yet to be. When I look at the mountain of dirt outside the school, I can’t remember the mountains of gravel and concrete that have gone both ways before it. This is the thing about the work in front of us- it blocks our view from what came before and what will come after, which in my case, is likely more soil.
Facing what seems impossible with positivity has to begin with wonder. I actually have no idea how all that dirt will become a grassy mound supporting the backs of teenagers for decades to come, but I start with 45 minutes of a gym class and kids who would rather be outside, even if it is to shovel dirt, than inside. Then I make calls to every coach I know at the school. This weekend, if the kids are still standing after prom night, some of the football players might come out and help move this mountain.
As soon as you have to know how to get it done, positivity flies out the window. Marveling at a mountain of dirt that is on the wrong side of the school doors is a start to getting it into a courtyard. The principal of the school said to me as we stood there, both wondering, “Some day there will be a plaque in here that says ‘Wendy moved mountains.’” I corrected him, saying, “No, we all did.”