Legend Has It That …

I often wonder why these four short words always sounded sinister to me.  When my sister told us these kinds of stories she would set the mood.  We would put blankets on the floor and light candles.  She would get us to sit still and listen to the silence.  She would wait until she was sure that we were listening and start with a quiet almost whispering sinister voice, “Legend has it that …”.  These stories usually took us down a scary path where fearful things happen.  They usually involved darkness, old deserted houses, and lonely old people.  She would take us on a journey that involved facing our fears and in the end finding our courage.

Facing Your Fears, Part One

There were four frightening events that happened in my life when I was very young.  They forever changed the way I lived my life going forward.  Like the legends of old the stories’ outcomes are about facing fear and finding the way to walk life’s path with courage and confidence.  I call these stories The Four Faces of Fear.  This is part one of my journey beyond fear.

Legend has it that there is a cave dug into the bank along the creek where a great serpent lives.  It is said that early in the mornings just before first light the serpent wanders the land looking for prey.  Needless to say, after hearing this first story, I got very little sleep that night and many slithering dreams.

Finally, after a restless night of sleep, I woke to a hot, humid morning.  Even though it was only five a.m. you could feel the heat building on the tin roof.  A slight breeze rustled the white cotton curtains in my bedroom.  But there was no relief from the July heat.  My sisters were already up and we went to the chicken coop to gather eggs.  It was still dark and sunrise was not yet creeping into the eastern sky.  I had the story about the serpent still echoing in my mind so I was being very cautious.   We crept into the chicken coop and the hens started to cackle.  As gently as we could we remove the freshly laid eggs.  I could feel something lurking in the shadows, slight whispers of noise teasing my mind.  The smell of fear was heavy in the air.

My sister, Carol was chopping wood for the stove and we still had to get water from the well to prime the pump in the kitchen.  We were longing for the smell of bacon and scrambled eggs, and a high stack of pancakes with heated maple syrup to pour on them would be a taste to delight the senses.

I brought the eggs to mom and went back to help my sisters.  Just like in my nightmares there lay the largest Copperhead snake curled up between me and my sister.  She was just standing there silently crying and not making a sound.  I yelled at her to stand still and I threw rocks at the snake.   It turned and looked at me.  I was so afraid but I could not let it hurt my sister.  The only weapon I could find was a tobacco stick laying in the yard that I had been playing with the day before.  The snake was facing my sister again so I ran as quietly as I could toward the snake.  Fear totally embraced my whole being.  It was a fear so engulfing that my screams were silent.  I started to beat the snake over and over as I ran around and around it hitting it over and over.  My sister was screaming so loud and I thought she would never stop.  I felt arms around me and my daddy lifting me up and away.  He walked over to the snake with a shovel and it didn’t move.  I felt like I grew up a lot that day.  My daddy nicknamed me Copperhead which people still call me.  My sister wrote a story about a Dragon Slayer that saves the princess in distress … Legend has it that …

Point Of View

I am not sure it was courage that made me help my sister.  I think it was my love for her that made me risk my life to help her.  Fear totally filled my spirit that day.  I was frightened beyond words but not frozen with fear.  I was able to react without thought and even at five years old I knew what I had to do.

I have often felt that the reason so many people don’t become successful is a fear of succeeding.  They may have the skill and the knowledge but somewhere deep inside them that one thing they need to succeed is missing or they are unable to tap into the courage they needed to step through the open door to be successful.

Life cannot give you courage.  It has to come from within.  It has to be something that you have faced in life and conquered.  Fear is something you have to face often in life.  It has many faces.  It can be personal, business or the fury of nature.  Regardless of what it is, life has given you the tools and the knowledge to face anything.  It is up to you how you face your fears or rather embrace your courage.  As my sister always told me, in life, be strong, be courageous and be a dragon slayer.

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
I have 40 years of Retail Management experience. I am the person they send in to fix things. Call it a Store Focus Specialist, a Smoke Jumper, an Outlaw. I can work within the system or go outside the box when needed. I love walking into chaos and bringing order. I am not a key word person and my education came from mentors not schools. I believe that everything that we do starts with hiring the right people. Driving sales, merchandising, customer service and metrics are just keywords until you hire the right people. My top talents are Recruiting, hiring, training, associate development, and going into a focus store and turning it around. Most importantly I believe in people and that if you teach them, develop them and believe in them they will do far more than they thought possible.
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Lynn Forrester-Pitocco

Courage and perseverance go well together and make for a fearless outcome. Thanks for your post

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thank you Lynn. I completely agree with you

Bharat Mathur

A very valuable lesson indeed, Larry Sir!

Courage is not bound by the shackles of age. As a matter of fact, it starts to manifest itself at a very young age, just like you have proven in here.

When nurtured with positive thoughts and support from our near and dear ones, we start our journey on this path.

Thank You!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Oh this definitely says it all, Larry. “I am not sure it was courage that made me help my sister. I think it was my love for her that made me risk my life to help her.” What an awesome recollection of your family Once Upon A Time experience.

Sandy Chernoff

Great story, Larry, thanks for sharing it.

Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli

Fear is so many things! Fear can be of various kinds. The fear of social change, of indigence, of not being able to maintain the standard of previous living. The fear of the entrepreneurs not to produce more wealth, of not getting more credit and of the collapse of their social image, for the families of employees. The fear of the worker to the change of lifestyle, of habits of consumption, of the revolution in the management of time. The fear for health. The fear of not to like or do not be considered and loved. We are afraid of any kind of comparison. The fear of losing control that also extends to the Internet: we seek information economic, political, medical, about weather, until to the overdose.
Sometimes is anxiety: who among us has not been agitated before an exam? Fear is an occasional scare. Every now and then something happens that displaces us and cause us concern, but if it does not happen anything, the existence would be predictable and boring!
Moreover, fear can be positive up to a certain level. It is part of us, activates us, makes us to be ready to react to what happens to us. And it is essential to push us to have courage and take action. Without fear there is no success!
It goes not only accepted but cultivated. Young people, in particular, need to learn to appreciate it, because fear teaches the sense of limits, and is the basis of many success. We must also be able to do the things that scare us. I do not speak of things that put lives at risk, but everything else. Think of the fear and decide how to deal with it is an indispensable training, because it is a major problem in the path of life. It is the engine of success, the root of the failures, the dilemma of all the stories that will affect us. Fear, in the journey from youth to adulthood, is assured. The important thing is not to add more artificially such as many adults with kids: they do not know how to encourage them and scare them free. Or try to console them, making worse!!!!

Chris Pehura

I sometimes talk about being that dragon slayer. I go up to the dragon with my sword and swing, hitting it’s scaly hide discovering my sword is useless against it. The dragon bows its head down to me and laughs, telling me I’m about to die. But being the hero, you don’t give up. I throw the sword down into the dragon’s throat. While choking on my blade I brutally subdue the dragon with my shield.

In the stories, in the legends you always hear the ideal story, that archetypical story. But in practice, things are always a little different. The main difference is the refusal to give up.

Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli

Our limit is ourselves
The biggest obstacle to achieving our dreams is our mind, we are ourselves.
Fear, for example, is just one of the obstacles that prevent us from taking one step further and creating the reality we want to live. Fear is human and it is normal to try it in certain situations, but most of the time it is unfounded. The important thing is to learn to manage fear and not to let it paralyze us.

Tom Dietzler

Now THAT is a story… makes a person want to say something lame like “Scream silently and carry a tobacco stick.” How we react in a time that requires action and when our thinking selves seem to be on leave is the stuff, well, of legends. That you could have been paralyzed with fear would not have made for much of a story, but I am thankful for how this one turned out. As in greater contexts, fear of anything can leave anyone paralyzed, and action, any kind of action is the best antidote to that paralysis. I am grateful to have discovered you here, your storytelling is compelling, riveting and poetic. Thank you for sharing this story, and others.

Darlene Corbett

Larry, thank you for this! Without courage, we would all be living in caves without the great innovations we have for our taking. I believe Aristotle said it was the greatest of all virtues. Although I believe it is love, courage is cannot be understated. Eventually, I plan on writing more about courage myself. Thank you again!💖

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