|Years ago (perhaps
before your time) there was a popular expression: "catch the
brass ring." To do so was considered very fortunate as
it implied that Lady Luck was smiling upon you and that you were
destined to have good fortune.
This happy anecdotal theme was
closely associated with riding on a merry-go-round (carousel) in days
past. Today, most
amusement parks have a carousel on their premises although they do not
offer the option of catching the brass ring.
Mounted on the decks of all carousels
are ornate horses and lovely painted benches to accommodate its happy riders
as the carousel spins around and around to the melodic serenade of piped
organ music. The horses on the outer edge of the deck go up and
down while those along side them are stationary.
In years past,
who were confident and able to climb onto their favorite moving horse, would strap themselves in, and with their left hand
clutching the pole tightly, they would stretch out their right arm as
far as they could in hopes of catching the brass ring that was
spring-loaded onto a pole positioned along side the spinning
carousel. It required timing, positioning, and
determination. This was a very huge challenge to a small child no
taller than three feet in height. If the child was successful, the
ring - and only the brass ring ( there were other rings loaded on
the pole that were made of just metal) - could be used
as a token for a free ride. However, many
youngsters elected to keep it and forfeit the "freebie"
. . . at least until he/she was ready to be challenged again.
There is an analogy here.
Our lives are similar to a spinning
carousel with all of its ups and downs. Sometimes, the ride is
smooth and pleasant and we just coast along and enjoy the momentum. We
really don't want to do anything too strenuous that will invite change
or chaos. We're not interested in reaching for the brass
there are other times when events seem to spin out of control and we can
barely hold on to keep from falling . . . falling into confusion and
Pause for a moment and reflect on
your life. You can stay in your safe rut (the stationary
horse or bench on the carousel) and experience a minimum of stress and
inconvenience. Your life is functional, but after a while - it
seems boring and uneventful. You begin to feel a void. Life
has lost its purpose and meaning. You search for something or
someone new. A new job, new residence, new love . . .
whatever. You're feeling discontent and disoriented. What went wrong?
The truth is . . . life never
stands still. It is constantly in motion. It is the
Grand Carousel, Lady Fortune and the Brass Ring
simultaneously. We are here for the "ride" so why
not avail yourself of its promise?
So many of us have latent
abilities and dreams that will never see the light of day because of fear.
We fear taking a risk and want guarantees. We worry about what others will think
or how they will react. Will they disapprove and withdraw their
love? We also fear failure and change. We are the little
children on the merry-go-round who must muster up courage and
determination to try for the prize . . . the brass ring. By now,
you realize that the brass ring is symbolic of any goal - any dream you may
Perhaps it is time for you to
reach out, accept the challenge, and grasp for something wonderful.
It's time for you to catch the brass ring. Don't
worry about falling. Strap yourself in carefully (prepare well), ride with the
ups and downs (there will be setbacks), and then, when the time is right - go for it!
Remember - practice makes perfect.