FAILURE TO SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES
There is an old saying to the effect that “opportunity knocks but once at our door”—and that is all fol de rol. Opportunity knocks at some people’s doors nearly every day of their lives and is given a royal welcome. That’s what Opportunity likes—appreciation. It goes often to the home where the latchstring hangs on the outside. It’s like a sign reading “Hot coffee at all hours, day or night”—very inviting. Very much different, however, from the abode whose windows shed no light and whose door is barred from within.
“Nobody Home!” that’s the sign for this door.
Mister Numbskull lives here and most of the time he sleeps. When anyone knocks on his door he pulls the covers up over his head to shut out the noise. He’s down on his luck anyhow, therefore it would be a waste of good shoe leather for him to be up and puttering around. If Opportunity ever knocked at his door he could say in all truth that he never heard it. He had often heard of Opportunity being in the neighborhood, but one thing is certain—someone else had invariably seen him first. He felt sure he would know Opportunity if ever he met him face to face, and if ever he did he would have it out with him then and there.
Meanwhile—dadgast the luck!—always the fates pursued him with some sort of hoodoo. And his neighbors—well, some of them had sense enough to keep their distance and let him alone. Others, however, had not been considerate of the fact that a “Jinx” was on his trail, and were given to making sarcastic remarks concerning him. And thus it was that Mister Numbskull spent his days, dodging his neighbors, sidestepping the highways and obscuring himself from the very individual he wanted so much to behold—Opportunity. At last there came a time when, in despair, and in disrepute, he took to the woods and is yet to be heard from. Opportunity still visits the neighborhood, but the path leading to Mister Numbskull’s home is grown up in weeds.
The fact is that our real opportunity knocks from within. Through experience, built upon consecutively by continuous effort, our vision expands and pounds its way out through the portals of our brain. We see the thing that we ought to do and we go to it! To the man who didn’t see it the opportunity did not exist.
“What we don’t know doesn’t hurt us any”—so runs the old saw. And here’s a case where we who didn’t see, were hurt, but we didn’t know it.
For those of us who have vision there are all sorts of opportunities, but many of them are not good for us. The ones we make for ourselves are the healthy ones, and generally they are the best for us. “Our own baby” is the one we will take the greatest pride in and enjoy the most. Then we become masters of our own destiny in a sense and can be more independent through having no senior partners in the enterprise. Often our dreams bring forth a need for many kinds of special knowledge and for these we go into the open market offering opportunity to many others in return for their assistance. Thus we find that everything we do is in relation to other things and dependent in part on other people.