More Light and Less Noise


A great story from one of America's greatest story-tellers, Abraham
Lincoln, was related by the president during those anxious days of the
American Civil War. A delegation of well-meaning patriots tried to
impress upon the president the gravity of the war. They implied that
his administration was neither as wise nor good as it ought to be. He
listened carefully, then responded with a memorable anecdote.

He told them that he once had a neighbor who found himself in a tight
situation. He was traveling home one dark and rainy night. There were
few bridges in the country and he came to a stream that he would have
to ford. But because of the darkness and the rain, he couldn't see
well enough to know just where to cross.

Lightning flashed and he saw his way for the briefest moment. But the
man was perplexed because there seemed to be more thunder than
lightning. He was convinced that every lightning flash was followed
by several loud peals of thunder. The poor man just stood at the edge
of the stream in his confusion about how to proceed. He finally
prayed, "O Lord, if it is just the same to you, give me more light and
less noise."

The delegation clearly got the point that the president needed more
solutions and less complaining - more light and less noise.

Some people are more like light and others are more like noise.

Some people shed light on solutions. Others only make a din about the
way things are.

Some people help us to see the situation more clearly. Others just
sound off about who's to blame.

Some people show a better way. Others only clamor about the present
course of action.

Some people offer to help. Others just wail about the problem.

The sun rises every morning and sheds light -- vanquishing the night's
darkness. The rooster also rises every morning... and makes noise --
neither shedding light nor dispelling the darkness.

What could your work environment, your family or your life be like if
everyone were like the sun rather than the rooster? What if we all
decided to contribute to the light?

By Steve Goodier © 2002


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