“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
- Henry Ford
ANDERSON, In. January 28, 2012–Henry Ford inspired a lot of people with that quote, me included. When I heard that saying for the first time at fifteen, it opened my eyes to possibilities I hadn’t dared dream of.
A young lady lived a few doors down the street from me. She was about 23, beautiful and so sophisticated. She was also very, very hot.
Once in a while, I’d see her as she arrived home from work. She would park her car on the street and walk into her parents’ house. Whenever I saw her returning from work, I’d do my best to ride my bike near her house, always being conveniently behind her car, to get the longest-lasting view as she stepped out.
She may have known I existed (since she never ran me over), but she never, to my recollection, noticed me. Not as a person or anything like that.
Well, I heard that Henry Ford quote, it just tore me up inside. It told me, day after day, what a slacker I was. It also emboldened me. After all, if I thought I could, then, well, I could, right?
So one sunny spring afternoon, she went past me, and I rode my bike all the way to her car and waited for her to open the door. I stood there astride my 2-wheeler, shaking inside as I contemplated how beautiful she was, and remembering that only if I could think I could…
“Hi,” I said.
“Hello.” She looked calm, but a little confused. She had no idea of the power of my ideas. I introduced myself as living a couple doors down the street; then I awkwardly told her of how much I admired the Henry Ford quote.
She would have no defense. I said it: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
She looked at me for a moment, taken aback by my boldness, I was sure. Then she looked at me very differently, sizing me up, from my Keds to my too-short jeans, to my T-shirt, skinny arms, scraggly hair, and glasses. And my expectant smile.
Finally, she spoke.
“Well, in your case,” she said, “you can’t.” Then she walked into the house.
Not all wise sayings apply universally.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.