A Lot With Just a Little
I’ve always been interested in cars
although I’ve not bought
any cool ones myself in many years,
I’ve always kept an eye out
whenever I drive down the street
for cars worth seeing.
Years ago when I was young
my friends and I used to laugh
at this old junker Plymouth that this guy
drove all over the town where I lived.
I never met the dude, but his car
was old and dented with faded brown paint.
On the side he spray painted in large, sloppy
letters a sign that said “Jeff Barts, Private Eye.”
It wasn’t until years later,
long after I’d moved away that I realized
that Mr. Barts was a young man to be respected
because even though he had next to nothing,
he was striving to realize his dreams in life
with the resources he had at the time.
A few years back, a friend and I used to go
to this parking lot in town where early
Sunday mornings lots of people gathered
who had fast and exotic cars
to show off their rides and chat
over coffee and beer.
Amongst all the Cobra’s,
Viper’s, Ferrari’s, Porsche’s
and six hundred horsepower
Corvette’s there was this guy
who showed up every Sunday
with a clunky faded green
’75 Ford Gran Torino with a white vinyl top
that had a 400 Cleveland with a blower
sticking out of the hood.
It was obvious that he’d done
all the work himself with sloppy
liquid metal beads around the edges
of plexiglass windows, badly wound
aluminum tape on the hoses
and klunky orange paint
on the brake drums that didn’t match
the rest of the car.
His Torino stood out like a sore thumb
there amongst all those high dollar rides.
All the other owners shunned him
and chuckled at his car.
I chatted with him once.
He was very proud of his ride
and all the work he’d put into it.
I listened to him talk thinking to myself
that here was another man who was striving
towards his dreams in life come hell or high water.
Of all the people gathered there, he was the one
you just had to respect because even though
he didn’t have much, he did his best
with whatever he had.
Whenever you see someone
who is the black sheep of the crowd,
whenever you see someone going for
whatever dreams they have in life
without much to work with
except loads of enthusiasm,
make sure to chat with them.
Give them encouragement
and a kind word.
Remember, the misfits,
and the odd ones out
are often the ones
who have the strongest will and deepest love
for the life that flows in their veins.
When comes the time for humanity
to save itself, it will be the odd ones,
the misfits and the black sheep
who have the most
experience at doing
a lot with just a little.
Likely as not the future
of our species will rest with them.