Friday, June 13, 2008

If you don't like the results, consider your actions

Every Thursday morning since October of last year, my son has been taking archery lessons from a wonderful man named Bill. On the first day of class, Bill told all of the kids about how to hunt for mushrooms in the wild and how to
prepare them. Subsequent classes brought more stories about Bill's life, all of which were colorful and entertaining.
Using sound effects and a smile, he told the kids about getting shot just above the eye with an arrow when he was young. Another time he explained what it was like to sleep in bunk beds at his aunt's house right next to the railroad tracks. He would be tucked into bed on one side of the room but by morning, the rumbling of the trains all night would have made the beds bump bump all the way to the other side. My favorite story was about this friend of his that picked up a dead deer alongside the road and put it in his van. It appears that the deer, rather than being dead, was just stunned and it came awake while the guy was driving down the road and began to thrash about trying to kill the driver or get out of the van, whichever came first. Of course Bill's animation and gestures while telling the story, made it especially entertaining.
Bill is also an avid outdoors man and is brimming with hunting stories, how to keep ticks off of you when in the woods, explanations about how to catch fish and clean them, and what types of natural insect repellents are available. The kids in the archery class are mesmerized when Bill tells his stories. They are not the typical stories that kids hear in today's world where many conversations center around shopping and what is on TV. They are stories of a life that my son would know little of if it were not for Bill.
Bill's favorite motto is, "if you don't like the results, consider your actions" and he uses it constantly. He says this motto applies to archery as well as everything in life. In archery, he says if you don't like where your arrow hit the target, consider how you held the bow before you shot. In regard to life, he gives the example, "If you don't like how a person responds to you, consider what you said to them."
Bill has been voicing many varieties of this motto since October and today I finally understood its relevance in terms of environmental stewardship. If I don't like the world I see around me, filled with lack of respect for the environment, I need to consider my own actions and do what I can to enact change. A great motto from a truly amazing and wonderful man.

1 comment:

Robin said...

That sounds like a wonderful class, and an engaging teacher. My kids love people who are full of good stories. And I think I'll have to add this saying to my collection of personal mantras: spot on.