There was once a little girl named Rosalie. She was seven years old. She was a really nice girl—kind, polite and sweet. When she was around seven years old, she started learning to play the violin. The first time she played her violin, she sounded . . . umm . . . not great. But Rosalie heard something else along with the out-of-tune notes. She had an inner voice telling her “you can do this!” And she knew she could play the violin.
Sure, she made mistakes. She got frustrated when she practiced. Some days, she just didn’t feel like. But she kept practicing every single day. And her teacher, her mom, her dad—they all told her how much they loved her playing the violin. So, she learned quickly, and soon she was playing well!
Rosalie also loved baseball. She’d played with her mom and dad right from when she was a little girl. It was pretty much like learning to play the violin because she didn’t always throw the ball where she aimed it. She didn’t always catch the ball when her mom or dad tossed it to her. And when they pitched to her, she did NOT run a home run every time.
But just as she had learned the violin, she learned to play baseball quickly. She practiced with her mom and dad, and she practiced on her own. And she got better.
Rosalie joined the softball team in school. The first few summers, the team coach pitched to the girls. When she turned twelve, the coach announced that the girls would pitch to each other. And of course, Rosalie wasn’t a good pitcher when she started. She threw everywhere but where she was supposed to throw! But just like the first time she played her violin, her inner voice told her, “You can do this!”
One day after practice was over, she came home, excited, and announced to her parents that she was going to be a pitcher. And of course, her parents said NO! Rosalie was puzzled. She asked them why not. And they said that girls who played the violin don’t pitch; they were afraid that she would hurt her fingers.
Actually, the truth was Rosalie’s mom and dad were simply worried that a flying ball would hurt her. They tried their best to dissuade her from playing softball.
Rosalie begged them to let her, sweetly at first but became angry after a while.
She yelled, “It’s not fair!”
Her friend, who played the violin with her also pitched and her parents didn’t object.
Finally, Rosalie stomped off to her room, sulking.
Her parents smiled at each other, saying that she would probably forget all about it tomorrow.
But Rosalie did not forget. She kept cajoling and pleading with her parents.
This went on for three days.
Then, Rosalie’s mom recalled how, when she was a little girl, she too had played ball. And of course, she had her share of bumps and bruises. She smiled, thinking about how she had survived.
Rosalie’s dad remembered how, when he was a boy playing in the outfield, he had lost a fly ball in the sun and the ball had landed right on his head.
They realized that the truth is, in life, you can get hurt, but you cannot let it stop you from doing the things you love.
So they called Rosalie and told her, “Yes, you can do this!”
And Rosalie was ecstatic! She hugged her parents and told them they were the best in the world. Then she ran out to practice.
The day of her first game arrived. Rosalie was nervous. Her parents kept encouraging her, saying that she’d be just fine.
Finally, it was game time. The ump brushed off home plate and shouted, “Play ball!”
Rosalie stood in the pitcher’s circle as a girl from the other team stepped into the batter’s box and swung her bat a few times. Rosalie threw her first pitch. It went way beyond the batter.
Rosalie’s mom held her breath.
Rosalie’s second pitch went way over the batter’s head again.
Her dad groaned.
The girls in the other team laughed. Rosalie’s teammates yelled, “Settle down, Rosalie!”
Rosalie’s third pitch flew right at the batter and the girls just jumped out of the way. The laughter continued—and her team was quiet.
Rosalie took a deep breath and when she breathed out, that little voice inside her told her, “You can do this, Rosalie!”
Her next pitch was right over the heart of the plate. The ump’s right hand went up and he shouted, Strike!
The other team shouted to the batter, “She just got lucky. Don’t swing! She’ll walk you!”
Rosalie’s next pitch was another beauty. The ump said, “Strike two!”
Rosalie’s teammates cheered her on.
Rosalie’s next pitch was a little outside, but the batter swung and missed. “Strike three. You’re out.”
Rosalie’s mom was excited! Her dad said, “I knew she could do it!”
And her teammates yelled, “Way to go, Rosalie!”
Rosalie felt exactly the way she had felt the first time she played a sweet tune on her violin. Of course, that had happened long after she had started playing. And today, the first time she did not pitch perfectly. But her team won the game!
So for the rest of that summer, Rosalie had some good games and some bad. Her team won some, lost some. But she continued to practice and improve. Not just playing the violin and baseball, but many other things. She never stopped listening to the voice inside her that said, “You can do this!”
You can, if you think you can! It only takes a little persistence, faith in yourself, and encouragement!
So find your tribe, rise, and shine!
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, and humor.
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