Looking For Windmills

By Bernie Suttle

Don Quijote


It seems that Cervantes had me in mind when he created Don Quixote. Looking at my life to date I see myself as Quixote’s personification. I have looked for quests that I could charge and apply my solutions whether needed or not.

Nothing was too big or too small to escape my lance.

“By using my program your non-profit organization may receive income of up to two million dollars within two years. “

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that you won’t use my proposal. You say it’s too risky but instead will count on donations for survival. Well good luck.”

“Your ice-cube tray sticks in the fridge? Generously apply salad oil to the tray bottom. See how smoothly the tray slides in and out?”

“Oh, now you are upset because salad oil is hard to remove from the fridge and is dripping on the food below? Sorry, but you do have easily removed ice cube trays.”

“So, you don’t want to spend your beer money on text books. Borrow them from the college library. Return them at the end of the semester.”

“You are upset because when you got to the Library all the text books you needed were gone?”

“Well, just remember the early bird gets the worm.”

I have often enlisted cohorts in my endeavors, “To right the night table wrong,” but sadly, they did not stay to the end. They failed to “reach for that unreachable star.”

I see my quests as following the American Way. I’m a problem solver. But first I must identify a problem even where no one else sees one. Then I must charge, “Where the brave dare not go”.

I’m surprised at how difficult it is to convince the people who will benefit from my correcting zeal, and sometimes I’ve been fearful that by the time the light shines through for these reluctant recipients the problem may disappear and my solution will be left dangling in a void of emptiness.

When I tell the one suffering from this unrecognized problem, “All you have to do is just…” and give him my solution he drifts away with a blank look. I don’t know if it’s lack of energy or commitment or if his “arms are too weary.”

Surprisingly, I do not get lots of thank-yous.  I give my efforts freely and I want them to be freely received. I see it as helping make the world a better place.

Am I concerned about failing? Never. The only failure is not to have tried.

It is man’s innate urge to make the world a better place, to overcome ignorance with truth. To not struggle for a goal is to yield. One must not follow the usual distractions that lead us down a well worn but errant path.

Sometimes when I present my solution to the yet to be recognized problem I am met with a grimace of fear and disgust as if I were a Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman at their door.

I certainly have not relied on these quests for my livelihood. My quests have been offered in a solely altruistic manner. I have sustained myself with irregular employment while always searching at my work place for a quest to which I could bring an immediate and fruitful remedy.

My boss would say, “Why don’t you just pay attention to your job. You weren’t hired to spend the whole day trying shortcuts and ways to get out of work.”

Now as I grow weary nearing the end of the trail I am satisfied and at peace that, “I have followed my star,” won some, lost many, but always taking on the “glorious quest”.

“I have been true. The world is better by this. I still strive with the last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars.”


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