“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do”  Walter Begehot

Winter is in full swing here in Michigan. Fire up the furnace and fireplace, throw on a blanket, and fix a hot drink. We’re stuck with it for a couple more months. So, tea and blankets, tea and blankets. My favorite tea features a nice little surprise in each packet. Each and every one contains a quote from a variety of authors, and when I find one particularly inspiring, it is tacked to my office bulletin board.

This Begehot quote gave me pause, for there is more than one way to look at it. At first glance, it seems personal. Proving yourself right is satisfying, but succeeding when others predict your failure is immensely gratifying.  It begins with believing in a cause or idea and and knowing deep down that you are capable of following it to fruition.

The collective YOU is altogether different.  It’s not just one person that is proving themselves capable. People say ____ group of people can’t have rights.  People say _____ shouldn’t live a certain way or terrible things will happen.  Challenging what-cannot-be-done is crucial to change. The abolition of slavery, civil rights, and suffrage have positively impacted millions of people in our country. A great pleasure, indeed.

The past few months of intense political action, reaction, and half-truths have been exhausting. Many laws and regulations are slated for change or repeal.  Perhaps it is up to you – the personal, or the collective – to decide if those changes should be made.  After all, going against the grain can be the most rewarding endeavor. Have a cup of tea, grab a book or reputable news source, and have a good read.  Then think about what it is that can – or cannot – be done.