December 30, 2020

By  Aspen Norton

In an excerpt from “That Something” by William W. Woodbridge, a professor asks the main character:

“What is it that keeps the under dog down? What is it that the upper ten possesses that the under ten thousand does not have?

“Why it’s THAT SOMETHING” I answered.

“What do you mean? Education? Environment?”

Before my mind was flashed the picture of my boyhood. I saw my home, I remembered the tender care of my parents, the love of a mother, the guiding hand of a father. I saw myself in college, at the head of my class. I remembered that day when I was given a sheet of parchment, and was told that I was a Master of Arts. And then, in the twinkling of an eye, the scene changed, and I saw that awful room, with a hundred men lying around me on the cold, hard floor.

“No,” I answered thoughtfully, “it is neither of those things. “THAT SOMETHING” is different entirely. I don’t just know what it is myself now, but I am going to find it, pin it down and then I will tell you more of it.”

In this story “THAT SOMETHING” is not given a definition. But words like faith, confidence, ambition and power are used to hint about it. It is power. The power of the inner man, to fuel the soul. To find it you must first awaken to the idea that it exists. Then you have to seek for what YOUR SOMETHING is that drives you. When you have found that, you must learn to control it by giving it proper direction. Ultimately it is the key to success and a happy life.

DISCUSS: What could “THAT SOMETHING” be that inspires you to act?

THAT SOMETHING is an inner motivator, not something from the outside like a job that pays you a wage. You have to find the reason why behind your actions.

DISCUSS: Why do you study in school? Why do you go to work? Is it all to get grades or be paid? Why do you dance, make art or music, or play sports? What are some deeper reasons you can think of that motivate you to succeed in various activities?


(Featured image by alphaspirit @ 123rf.com)

Aspen Norton

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