Friday, March 14, 2008

Pass the Gas?

For those of you who are old enough to have memorized M*A*S*H*, let me remind you of the episode when a young injured soldier continuously tries to take his own life. Exasperated, Col. Potter pretends to give up fighting with him and offers his aid instead, cranking up the tank and forcing the gas mask back in the man's face. The young man is so surprised he starts fighting back and after a few intense moments, Potter says something to the effect of, "There, you see? You don't really want to die after all. Now keep fighting to live."

I told you that to tell you this:

The other day I had the opportunity to play the role of Col. Potter. I have a friend--we'll call her Cathie--who was a bit fed up with some ticky-tacky technicalities and casually mentioned she might just throw in the towel. After gasping at the thought, I sent a reply pointing out just how easy it would be to leave the dream behind and move on to another. I told her she had my support either way.

Then I waited.

And while I waited, I thought, "There is no way I will ever give this up. I will never even type such a blasphemy."

But then what did I DO?

Next to nothing.

THAT is the problem. Doing nothing IS giving up!

Let me say that again.

Doing nothing IS giving up. Not writing anything today is giving up. Well, I won't do it, I tell you.

My anonymous friend, Cathie, said she won't be giving up either.

So, my goal--and I encourage those of you who occupy this same boat to join me---is for this coming week to do less giving up. Much less nothing and much more something, and in our world, that means writing.

So don't pass me the gas, thank you. I've had my wake up call and I'm fighting back.

Ainsley MacQueen, a writer today.

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