Observations of Life. I am not sure, but I may have been 12 or 13 years old when I first heard, "How long can you tread water?" from my oldest brother who was doing his abridged version of Bill Cosbyís NOAH comedy routine. At the time, Bill Cosby had made a name for himself as a comedian and was also part of American cultural history. He was the first black man to have a starring roll in an ongoing, primetime television series, I SPY. I remember watching it, but at the time, I was unaware of the controversy of having a black man in a prominent role on TV. It was good entertainment and we enjoyed it. No one in our family or anyone else I knew said anything about it. It was not until many years later that I learned of the risk taken by Sheldon Leonard (producer) and others in this ground-breaking action.
But Bill Cosby is probably best known for his comedic skills. As a comedian, he performed and eventually recorded his classic comedy routines. I remember having side aching laughter listening to THE CHICKEN HEART, TEN THOUSAND COP CARS, and of course, NOAH. Ray, my oldest brother, always seemed to be telling us something new that he learned as we grew up. Somehow he had heard of Bill Cosby and started buying some of Cosbyís comedy 33 LP albums. This was at a time when you just couldnít download the latest audio; before TiVo and VCRs. If you missed it on TV or the radio, you had to go to the music store and buy a record and play it on a record player. Well, Ray had purchased several of these albums and one Saturday night a long time ago, I got to hear Bill Cosbyís NOAH for the first time.
I donít remember who else was there that night, but we put the 12-inch black disk on the center post of the automatic turntable. Then we put the curved arm on top of it that helps to stabilize it on the post. With a turn of a switch, the turntable started to revolve. The arm that held the needle lifted up and moved a little to the right, and with a plop, the record dropped down on the spinning turntable. With a slight whoosh of the record sliding to pick up speed, the needle arm then moved into the outer edge of the record. It dropped ever so slowly, and with a small pop, made contact. If you watched closely, you could then see the needle catch the recording track and move in about a quarter inch and with a small hiss, it made its way to the first sound. Usually after doing all of this, you still had to jump up to adjust the volume up or down as needed. There was no remote control for our record player.
That night I laughed long and hard. Then I laughed some more. You could hear the smile in Cosbyís voice and feel that he was giving you a sideways glance when he retold the story of Noah. It was a thrill and an event that embedded itself in my memory forever as only it could at that age. We listened to each track and then flipped it over to hear the other side. We would then listen to some again and again. We would repeat the main lines such as, "How long can you tread water?" and "Right!" It was a night of fun and laughter.
Naturally, most people know the story of Noah, even if one is not part of the Judeo-Christian faiths. And there are lessons of faith and character to be learned from this story. But there can be another lesson for us from this story. A lesson for most of us if we want to grow, prosper and to not just survive, but prevail.
In the story of Noah, God calls Noah to build an ark. The earth will be flooded, and Noah is to gather all kinds of animals to take on the ark with his family to be safe. It rains 40 days and nights, the world floods, they are safe, and after some time, the ark will rest on land, where the animals are finally left out and all is right with the world.
Just as a side note, this monthís Observations is longer than most months and takes up most of the newsletter. But even with its extended length, it will require the reader to connect some of the dots for him/herself to get the points within.
Now, with some liberties, imagine this. God calls Noah to build the ark to save his world. Naturally Noah agrees, but he has to know this is no easy task. It will take all his free time and then some. But his world is going to change and if he doesnít, aside from Godís command, he and his family will not survive.
Here now is Noah building this ark in his backyard and the neighbors are starting to wonder about old Noah (500 years old). In the vein of Cosby, you know they had to be kidding him a little, and Noah was taking a lot of grief for it. But he persisted. Noah had a bigger picture in mind. He had the future in mind. He knew things were going to change, so he had a job to do. So, even though all of his friends were out bowling, playing ball, kicking back with a few brewskies (or doing whatever they did and drank back then), he kept right on building the ark and gathering up the animals. It had to be tough. But finally one day, the ark was done. The animals were put in the ark with all of their provisions and finally Noah and his family entered the ark ready to ride out the storm. And they did. Eventually, the ark rested on the mountain and when the time was right, they came out and went right on with their lives.
So right about now you may be asking what this has to do with you today? For most people, almost everything. It does provide us with a metaphor for our individual lives. Imagine now that powers-that-be came to you and said, "Your world is going to change. Prepare yourself!" Would you just say, "Right" disbelievingly and go on with what you were doing? Or, would you take it seriously? Would you be willing to pay the price to prepare for that change? Now I am not talking about a financial cost, even though there is some, but rather, what are you personally willing to do and tolerate to prepare for this change?
Now when I say your world is going to change, I donít mean in the sense that there is going to be a cataclysmic event, but rather the world we live in now will no longer have need for you as you are now.
To better illustrate this, letís look to the past just a few years. Imagine if you were a typewriter repair person in the recent past. Just prior to the computer-in-every-home age, typewriter repair people were in demand in almost every office in the country. A good office typewriter could cost up to $500.00 and that would be in 1970s dollars. This was a substantial investment and a typewriter repair person was essential for this investment. Now move ahead just twenty years to the 1990s and think of what was happening. The computer replaced the typewriter in almost every way. The typewriter repair person had to either learn how to fix computers (learn electronic) or their printers (learn electronic and new mechanical technology). And if they did not see this coming, they were out of a job.
Now you may be thinking that your job will never be out of style or obsolete. Almost every job, occupation, position or entrepreneurial endeavor has a shelf life. OK, entry level positions in minimum wage paying jobs usually donít require much previous training to be hired. And if you only want to do that kind of work, that is your choice, but one that you must live with. But if you want to do better than that, to be a little better than you were the day before, and to be better a year from now than you are today, you must build your personal ark. That ark is you. You need to make yourself ready for the new world that will be here before you know it. You have been warned.
Like Noah, it is possible and probable that some friends and maybe even some of your family will make it difficult for you. If you are above the average college age student and you decide to start college, some will wonder why. Some may even try to talk you out of it. Some will make fun of you. Some will resent you for doing it, especially if you are coming from an environment where this is not the norm. If you are a blue collar worker, some co-workers will see it as an attack against them that you want to better yourself. Remember Noah. His neighbors and friends could see the bigger picture. Some of your friends will say things like, "What are you trying to change for? Youíre one of us." or "What, are you too good to hang out with us anymore?", and "Come on, youíre not one of them." Out of jealousy, envy and their own lack of ambition and desire for self-improvement, so called friends and others will try to hold you back from building your personal ark, the ark that is going to make sure you are prepared for the new and changed world that is coming.
Once before I wrote about a person I knew, who because of a changing economy and other factors was losing his job. He literally had years to prepare himself for a new vocation. He did not. It was obvious he had an attitude of not wanting to make any personal change because he saw it as a move out of his social and economical classes. And knowing him as I did, he had a class vs. class attitude. It was easy for him to be critical of those who were motivated and stepped out of their social and economical positions in life. For him this would be a move out of his comfort zone. He believed that any change in this way was seen as bad. For years he consumed all of his free time doing nothing that would prepare him for his future. Eventually, his job ended. I spoke with him last year and he is still bitter at his previous employer and bitter at those who are better off than him. He is now working at a job he hates and pays just over minimum wage. He refused to see the flood coming and never built that ark in himself.
Letís pretend that I have just heard it from a very good source and was to tell you that I know 100% sure that there is a flood coming and you have to build an ark. In other words, your world is going to change and you have to better yourself for that world. You have to see where your work is going to take you a year from now. This could be applicable to those of you who are self-employed, business owners and entrepreneurial in nature. What you are doing now is going to probably change, for some sooner than later. You will have to retrain, re-think, and change what you do to some degree.
Locally, look at the Amish population. Even though they maintain their core values in their homes, vocationally they have come off the farm and trained in skills, trades and 21st century abilities. Some reading this will find this hard to imagine, but I know several who are business owners and use computers. The Amish have adapted, yet maintained a lifestyle still congruent with their core beliefs. They built their ark.
Personally, I enjoy ark building. Others may be less comfortable with it. Most people do accept change ever so slowly and do the same with their personal ark building. But without it, most would barely survive the change. Do more than survive, prevail. I ask you to consider looking out for the coming rains and build that ark in yourself.
Did you knowthat past issues of ENLIGHTENMENT are available online at our website? You can download them by going to www.willardhypnosis.com and clicking on the ARCHIVE link and picking the ones you want. They are in Adobe PDF format for easy printing. You must have the Adobe reader to do this.
Quotes we liked. "Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail." by Charles F. Kettering. I like this quote because if people accept that things can fail, many times that is what they will focus on. But if they only act as if it can be done, without failure, imagine how many more people would accept new and wonderful challenges. Think of all the things that can be done. See the possibilities of new things you can do in your life. OK, not everything in life is without some failures, but is it not better to go with the idea of success than one of pending doom? Which self-fulfilling prophecy would you rather have?
What to expect.When a person comes for a session, many expect to be guided into the hypnotic state for the entire time. This is not always the case. In the first session, the hypnotist takes time to discover the needs of the client and for the client to become comfortable with the hypnotist. Sometimes it may be necessary to ease the client into hypnosis for the first time and have follow-up sessions to work on the problems and issues. In subsequent sessions, time may be taken to review progress and evaluate the ongoing care of the client. But, in the end, the journey into the subconscious mind does occur with hypnosis. Sometimes it may take just a few minutes while others may take up most of the time of the session. But whatever happens, it is always for the best interests of the client to make those changes he or she wants and needs.For more information on hypnosis and how it can help you, call us at 717-872-7561.
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Enlightenment. The time we spend writing and rewriting it helps to remind us why we do what we do, which is to be in service to others both professionally and personally. By also sharing these observations, ideas, and information, we also learn new things. Please share this newsletter with others who you feel would enjoy and/or benefit from it. If you are receiving this newsletter secondhand and want to receive your own copy, just send us an email and we will put you on either our snail mail list or email list. So until next month, best wishes to all.
Roger & Patti