The Human Spirit

Outtakes 316

The Human Spirit

By Cait Collins



I’m continually amazed by the resilience of men and women. Throw the book at them and most will catch the volume. Take a look at what’s been going on in southeast Texas in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey. Although forced by rising water to leave their homes, these ordinary men and women are determined to return and rebuild. They are not wailing “Oh woe is me.” No, they are fighting back. Sure there are exceptions. There are the looters, the scam artists, and the quitters. But the fighters outnumber them.

Some people might say the citizens are Texas Tough, but they are just people fighting for their homes and lives. They are the very best of the human spirit. And they are not regulated to Texas. This is the humane endurance we write about. We take our characters from their calm, quiet lives, force them to reach bottom, and then crawl back to happiness or contentment. Without the day-to-day examples of normal individuals, we might have little to write about.

Humans who always appear to be on top of everything, who have no obstacles in their paths, who live well, are boring. Heroes are not born, they are made. And some heroes are ordinary men and women who rise to the occasion and excel. We need heroes, but we also need the average man who lives out his life going to work, caring for his family, and respecting others. The human spirit is the basis of all character growth. Never discount the ordinary man.

Monday Writing Quote

Monday Writing Quote


Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing.”
― Brian Clark

The Dog And the Leash


The Dog And the Leash

By Nandy Ekle

I took part in a survey recently—one question, intended to make you think introspectively: name one thing you wish you could bring back from your childhood. This question definitely did get my brain cells working.

I started thinking about what kind of child I was. And then a story bubbled which gave me my answer.

Once upon a time, a girl had a dog. This dog was very energetic and very powerful, and the girl had to learn to control it. She clipped a leash to its collar and they went for a walk. The dog wanted to run and play, and he wanted the girl to run and play with him. But he was big and strong and the girl usually ended up huddled in a corner with a skinned elbow or a tear in her jeans.

But she couldn’t get rid of the dog because he was her constant companion. He went everywhere she went. He slept next to her at night, got up and went to school with her in the morning, came home and ate dinner with her, took baths with her, and then went to bed with her every single night.

And every day she took him for a walk on the leash. She learned to tell him no, that she didn’t want to run. She pulled on the leash to slow him down when he went too fast. And she yanked the leash if he tried to run after a bird or a rabbit.

But she also gave him treats. She bought tasty things for him to chew on. She gave him his favorite snacks. She scratched him behind the ears and made sure he had plenty of healthy food and water.

One day she took her dog out for a walk. She took hold of his collar with one hand and held the leash in the other. She rubbed the metal clip of the leash on the metal loop of his collar, but she didn’t really attach them. Instead she hung the leash around her neck, held her arm out as if she actually was holding the leash, and they began their walk. And an incredible thing happened. Her dog walked as if he really was attached to the leash. He didn’t run away from her, or drag her, or jump around. He walked calmly by her side and obeyed her when she talked to him.

After a while she remembered how much fun it was when he was running and jumping, and she wanted him to do that again. So she pretended to take the leash off his collar, but he still stayed calmly by her side. It wasn’t until she began to run that the dog started running as well.

So, I’ve gone through all this to say, I’m the girl and my imagination is the dog. I’ve spent so much time and energy learning to control it, and now when I want it to run wild, it looks at me as if I still have it leashed. If I could bring one thing back from my childhood, it would be my wild and free imagination.

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