Don Shomette

People are the Prize

The Courage & The Ability

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In April 1942, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle led the first bombing attack (and near suicide mission) against military targets in Japan. The navigator on his plane was Hank Potters. When the mission was over, Hank Potters’ mother wrote a letter to Doolittle’s wife in which she said, “I feel very proud and humble that the boys not only had the courage but the ability to do their job.”

letter1

At least 2 other mothers, in separate letters, would repeat nearly the exact sentiment to Jo Doolittle.

“…the courage and the ability…”

It started me thinking—maybe you can’t have one without the other? Maybe courage is enhanced with ability? And if that’s true, does that also mean that other worthy traits become more possible or even dependent on ability?

So I tried out a few combinations to see if it was true.

Determination:
Not only do you have the determination to complete your homework, but you have the ability to do the work and to do it well.

Love:
Not only do you have the love to raise a child, but you have the ability to be a good mother.

Grit:
Not only do you have the grit to be a police officer, but you have the ability to save lives.

Dedication:
Not only do you have the dedication to be a teacher, but you have the ability to communicate knowledge

Compassion:
Not only do you have the compassion to be a doctor, but you have the ability to heal

Passion:
Not only do you have the passion to be a principal, but you have the ability to lead

I think Hank Potters mom had it right. It takes more than courage, determination, enthusiasm, and other highly prized qualities to be successful. It takes…ability.

We should remember this when it comes to our children. If we really want our children to possess all of those great and noble qualities, then we have to ensure they also have the ability to do ‘the job’.

Tweet this…

When it comes to ability, celebrate it in yourself, praise it in your children, & reward it in your organization.

Author: Don Shomette

Don Shomette is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and owner of People are the Prize, a violence prevention company that helps people to prevent and survive a school attack. He has spent a lifetime working with police officers and principals and is consistently evaluated by those who attend his trainings as one of the best instructors ever. Don challenges, entertains, and helps school personnel to think of preventing violence in a new and positive way.

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