September 18, 2014
Named as one of the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children”, Platt & Munk‘s (publishers) “The Little Engine That Could” was famous for teaching optimism. In visiting the Cape Poge Lighthouse (see previous blog post) I witnessed first hand the hard reality of what that story tried to convey. In the lighthouse the actual light bulb that was employed to send out the beacon was only 2 inches high. Only by the physics of the Fresnel lens was it able to be broadcast 9 miles.
After a life time of watching people struggle to achieve goals or whatever, I’ve always come back to the sobering fact that there is a two inch light bulb in all of us. The two inch light bulb is our self; the Fresnel lens is our individual personality. Albert Bandura championed this idea in his seminal work, “Self-Efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change.” It is an extremely simple idea, so simple that, I believe, people discount it.
There seems to be a drag, an inertia, a governor that actively counters any forward movement to positive gain. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew Ch.26:41).
I believe that the soul of man is mirrored in nature, and to observe nature in its vastness and subtlety is to glimpse the soul of ourselves. Such was my experience of Cape Poge Lighthouse on Chappaquiddick Island.