Fri, Jan 19, 2018 04:00 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-07-23 communities
Mischief and Mayhem
What it takes
by Mylinda Burris Johnson | Contributing columnist

It has always been one of my big pet peeves to hear someone say, "I quit! I just can't do it!" In recent years, I have developed a new sense of 'can do' in all things. Not that I have accomplished everything that I ever wanted to accomplish (yet), but I know that if I truly want to accomplish a set goal, I can do it! Just as any person on this planet, I have a gift called free will. While free will allows us to do things that we know are not 'proper'; it also allows us to become who or what we want to become!

I am sure by now you have all heard of Aron Ralston, the infamous Utah desert climber who at the age of 27 managed to amputate his own arm as a final attempt to free himself from death's unjust clutches. According to, when asked how he managed to deal with the pain Aron replied, "I'm not sure how I handled it. I felt pain. I coped with it. I moved on. ... I did what I had to do." While by no means do I want to follow in Aron's footsteps, even though I do think that rock climbing would be an interesting (and exhausting) experience, I have much admiration and respect for his can-do, overcome-all-odds attitude.

Aron is just one of many people who has at one point or another, made the decision that they will prevail regardless of the obstacles. In our hometowns of Eastern Kentucky, we see many obstacles of which we must overcome in order to achieve our goals. However, attitudes regarding change are one of the main issues that we face. Change is often perceived as the devil's advocate, the 'wolf in sheep's clothing' so to speak. Many of us are set in our ways and dare I say, adverse to change.

Education plays a big part in our attitudes toward change. Change is truly a frightening concept even for those of us who are less set in our ways than others! However, making the decision to change or not can be justified by whether we have educated ourselves in the matter, or have just decided that it is easier to keep old habits. It is ignorance that drives most people to keep their thinking within the box when it comes to change.

Is it better to walk around the barn and over a steep hill to get to the mailbox when there is much shorter, less burdensome way to get there? Would it not be better to take off the blinders and see what is to the left and right of us so that we will see the mailbox is just a few steps away if we would only look? Does it not make more sense to assess situations and then to make every feasible attempt to find the best, most efficient way to get from A to B? Or is it better to go backwards — Z, Y, X — would it not take more precious time to get to B by counting backwards than by simply turning around and looking a different way?

Of course we all have what it takes to face any type of change with an open mind and strong will to succeed! In the words of Nike, "Just Do It!"

Tune in next time when I discuss my BIG CHANGE — MARRIAGE! Yes, I am now a Mrs. - as you will notice; my name is now Mylinda Johnson.

(To be continued)

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