There are two foxes that I remember in my life. Both were introduced to me by my father, and both have influenced my thoughts. I know what it is like to be crazy, I am learning to be crazy like a fox.
When I was a kid, I traveled with my dad to Southeast Kentucky. He was a building material salesman, and made weekly rounds to retail stores.
Some notes about my dad. He is a Kentucky Colonel, though he never lived in Kentucky. Though he was a salesman for a living, he was a friend as a profession. A lot of people have a good story about my father.
When I think about being crazy like a fox, I think of two foxes in particular. Both foxes were a result of my dad considering this or that thought and encouraging me to take another think.
The First Fox
My memory tells me that Rick Fox was a partner in one of the better retail stores in Harlan. When I traveled to Harlan, it was always on a Thursday, we always played golf with Gary and Rick, and we stayed over the mountain in Hyden.
In those days, you carried a gun, minded your own business, and kept your head down, in Hyden. But in Harlan, we knew people, and those people were awesome.
Rick owned some version of a late 60’s Corvette. It went fast. When he jumped on the gas, that car was faster than anything on the road.
One evening, I hopped in the passenger side, and Rick slid into the driver’s seat. He was going to take me for “a ride”.
He comforted me by assuring me that it was no worse than a roller coaster, and my 8 year-old mind immediately said, “rollercoasters have tracks.”
I was scared at the time, but as I look back on my life, that is one of my best memories. Rick Fox was a little crazy. I want to be that kind of crazy like a fox.
The Second Fox
A couple of weeks ago, dad, once again, introduced me to another Fox. I had heard of this Fox. His name is Michael J. Fox.
I am not celebrity news guy, but heard that he struggled with Parkinson’s disease. What I did not realize was all of the great things he has accomplished post-diagnosis.
Evidently he was also, what some would call, an optimist. That seems crazy. He has struggles, and he is an optimist. Recently, even he admitted it might be a little crazy.
Within the last two years, this Fox had a tumor on his spine that needed to be removed (in addition to all of the other struggles). He spent time in a wheelchair and learned to walk again.
He realized, that it made no sense to tell people to be optimistic, when nothing about this process did not suck. And here is the crazy part.
Once he admitted that it sucked, his optimism returned. Here is a link to purchase his book, “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality“. I receive no compensation from Target or the author.
I so want to be crazy like this Fox, too.
On Giving Advice and Encouragement
Advice and encouragement are tricky. While they can only be predicated on our own experience, it must be that they are only offered after an attempt to understand “other”.
One of the most missed truths, is that if we listen to the advice and encouragement we offer, it is usually what WE need most.
With that said, I want to be crazy like a fox. I will be grateful and optimistic. I will be a little dangerous.
Like a fox.
As far as what you need to do, and how I might encourage your doing it, please read the following.
Figure It Out For Yourself
It really is the only way. Others may lead us to greatness, but it is up to us to be great. Others might give us the tools for success, but it is up to us to use those tools.
Something else we would be well served by considering is the meaning of success. If you think it is money, power, and fame, do your thing. For me it is not.
Take some time each day and figure out what you really want.
Even that admonition is directed towards myself more than anyone else. Perhaps it will resonate with others.
Have a fantastic day.
Be crazy like a fox.