Graham🐝 Edwards

2 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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I am only one...

I am only one, but I am one. I can not do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
Edward Everett Hale

I hadn’t heard of Edward Everett Hale before, but experience has shown me the Internet is excellent for dealing with this sorta thing. Wikipedia tells me Edward Everett Hale (April 3, 1822 – June 10, 1909) was an American author, historian, and Unitarian minister, best known for his writings such as "The Man Without a Country", published in Atlantic Monthly, in support of the Union during the Civil War. He was the grand-nephew of Nathan Hale, the American spy during the Revolutionary War.

Now that I have Edward’s identity sorted out I can concentrate on what he supposedly said. I say “supposedly” because I’m fully aware I got the quote from the internet, and sadly, there has to be a small leap of faith in doing so. When I first read the quote I was absolutely certain it was the product of the me generation and humbled by the assumption those who came before us were not quite as smart as we are today (I mean electricity was a novel thing back then). Good thing we have the Internet — it’s a vast achievement that reminds us constantly we do not know all that much, and sadly, we’ve forgotten more than we dare to admit.

The exploration of the human condition has been an endeavour over the millennium so we probably shouldn’t assume Edward Everatt Hale was the first to put pen to paper regarding individuality and its innate power — although he does have a meme so he has that going for him. And because of it, I couldn’t help but put some thought into it.

I am only one, but I am one — a reminder that you are the fundamental building blocks for everything done as a species (or not done), and because of it, you have the potential to do something important.

I can not do everything, but I can do something — an acknowledgement and recognition that you have skills, abilities, and character, and you can achieve something. Alas, it’s also a reminder the universe is rather large, so you can’t everything or do not have the ability. However, there is no excuse in simply doing nothing.

And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do — a reminder to focus on what you have and what you can do, and not be distracted by lamenting or striving for what you can’t. Achievement will never be found if don’t focus on your strengths and abilities.

How does that song go again? Oh yes, “Two outta three ain’t bad”. 

I am only one, but I am one — check. Can not do everything, but I can do something — check. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do — wait, what about identifying your weaknesses and developing a plan to improve? Oversimplifying, as I am apt to do, there seems to two philosophical camps; find your strengths and rally all your energy around them, or identify your weaknesses, develop them into strengths, and strive for balance (I belong in this camp). “Find what you are really good at and then go all in to make the most of it” — it’s pithy and I do like the ring of it. Maybe my approach has been wrong all these years, although arguable I haven’t done so bad.

I’m probably going to have to consult with the Internet again but in the mean time this is where I’ve landing —

I am, and that is important. I have talents to do something, and I will. I have been given a lifetime to figure out how to get it done, although it’s not as long as you think.

group_work in Engaged Readers

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Levan Johnson

8 months ago #10

I like to think that nothing is ever for nothing. Whatever you build, someone can improve. Everything you do leads you to where you are going next. I'd rather build on a strength than be frustrated by a weakness. I also like to think that we all make contributions to the world in our own way. Sometimes our contributions are meme worthy and sometimes they are not but that doesn't mean they don't have value. Nice post, Graham. 

Graham🐝 Edwards

2 years ago #9

That really is the question isn't it Jerry Fletcher... I vote "To be" Thanks!

Graham🐝 Edwards

2 years ago #8

Thanks for the quotes Joel Anderson... I particularly like the Emily Dickinson...

Graham🐝 Edwards

2 years ago #7

Thanks very much Bill Stankiewicz, \ud83d\udc1d Brand Ambassador... thanks for reading

Graham🐝 Edwards

2 years ago #6

Thanks for the comment Royce Shook... that clock keeps ticking...

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #5

Graham, Tis the simple nature of the being what we call man. "To be or not to be, aye, that is the question." And so it goes.

Joel Anderson

2 years ago #4

Yep, it is kind of like the quote "Lead, follow or get out of the way" that is erroneously linked to Thomas Paine. The important thing is the absolutely brilliant assessment and insight on the components of the quote attributable to Hale. Despite the fact that it annoys some, I have inserted the following quotes in my signature block. “I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something: And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” Edward Everett Hale "I dwell in possibility" Emily Dickinson "All I can do is be me, whoever that is." Bob Dylan Rock on and thanks for the spot on post.
Cool 😎 thank You for sharing
You landed well.

Royce Shook

2 years ago #1

I like where you landed. I am still in the first camp but I like the idea of the second in theory but have not been able to find a balance yet, but I still have a lot of time, unless it runs out.

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