Positive Optimism and Resourcefulness

The MacGyver gene


The Daily Prompt from the folks at the Daily Post asked me to tell them “about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.” But I was confused. They wanted me to tell them about being resourceful, which I define as successfully using objects or methods for other than their intended purposes. But they tied it to the proverbial phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This phrase is about being optimistic and positive in the face of adversity or misfortune.

Marshall P. Wilder – World’s First Lemonade Salesman

So I pondered a little on the relationship between resourcefulness, optimism, and positive mental attitude, and whether all three had ever been present at the same time in any situation I had encountered. Had I ever found myself in a pickle, where I suddenly became optimistic and positive, and then resourcefully used an object or a method in a way that no one ever imagined?

Our Wikipedia machine attributes the earliest variant of the Lemonade proverb to one Elbert Hubbard, who wrote it in a 1915 obituary for dwarf actor Marshall Pinckney Wilder.

“He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.”

The proverb has morphed over the intervening years, with some alternate attributions proposed, but it still retains much of the original meaning. Keep an optimistic, positive attitude in spite of misfortune.

Now, I’ve never had a lemonade-stand. But I can say that for most of my life I have been optimistic to a fault, and have had a positive mental attitude, almost Pollyannaish. So maybe I’ve been a lemonade-stand my whole life, but just didn’t realize it. That would explain lots of things.

What about this resourceful thing? Well, I am a male of the species. Whenever the male of the species is confronted with a situation for which he doesn’t have the proper tool or method, his first thought is to look around for something completely inappropriate to use in completing the task at hand. I think it’s due to the MacGyver gene.

I routinely use the wrong tool or method, often successfully, or at least acceptably. It’s in my DNA. And if the completely inappropriate tool or method doesn’t work? I go to the home center and get a new tool! Any excuse will do. After all, I’m a guy, it’s what we do.

Not Lemonade

Author: rudyblues57

A fellow traveler in our journey around the neighborhood thermonuclear explosion. Full of random thoughts and esoteric observations about the human condition, how we treat each other, and other detritus of life.

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