Quotation Saturday: Gumption!

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Mamacita says:  Well, well, well, another Saturday has sneaked up on us!

“Gumption” is an old-fashioned word, but gumption itself is a quality that seems to be old-fashioned, too.  Schoolkids aren’t given time to prove they’ve got gumption or not, because before they can even comprehend that they can’t comprehend something, an adult is right there showing them how, thus keeping the child from figuring things out himself.  When kids want to play, they no longer have to scout around the neighborhood, looking for an empty field, etc, and they no longer have to teach each other the rules, or look out for each other in case bullies, dogs, bees, poison ivy, or any other unmentionable shows up, because most kids these days have never even navigated their own neighborhood since they’ve never in all their lives EVER been out of their mother’s sight, and she’s always right there with the kids in their fenced-in back yard to save them from Nature or mean kids or the trouble of making their own amusement.  Any games a modern kid plays are set up, regulated, and supervised by adults.  Modern kids would have no idea how to play without a grownup right there to tell them how.  Sigh.

People have no gumption these days.  Plain and simple.  Those who have it are not encouraged to use it lest some other person’s self esteem be damaged, or he/she might fall down and break an arm, or – heaven forbid – he/she might even develop a love of learning and adventure and that would really rock the boat for school systems, administrations, and parents who’ve turned hovering into an art form.  Of course, if a child DOES fall down on the playground, the parents can always sue and get a lot of money.  I mean, falling down on a playground?  Why, it’s UNNATURAL.  Some adult wasn’t taking good enough care of the poor kid.  LAWSUIT.

Those who DO have gumption and who have the gumption to stand up and USE that gumption, deserve to rule the world.

1. Anyone who has gumption knows what it is, and anyone who hasn’t can never know what it is. So there is no need of defining it. — Lucy Maud Montgomery

2. It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own. — Jessamyn West

3. Boredom means you’re off the quality track, you’re not seeing things freshly, you’ve lost your “beginners mind”…boredom means your gumption supply is low and must be replenished before anything else is done. — Robert M. Pirsig

4. I like the word “gumption” because it’s so homely and so forlorn and so out of style it looks as if it needs a friend and isn’t likely to reject anyone who comes along. I like it also because it describes exactly what happens to someone who connects with Quality. He gets filled with gumption.

A person filled with gumption doesn’t sit around dissipating and stewing about things. He’s at the front of the train of his own awareness, watching to see what’s up the track and meeting it when it comes. That’s gumption.

If you’re going to repair a motorcycle, an adequate supply of gumption is the first and most important tool. If you haven’t got that you might as well gather up all the other tools and put them away, because they won’t do you any good. — Robert Pirsig

5. When I was a kid, people who got divorced were people who had no gumption. — Phil Donahue

6. Thus my modest recommendation, requiring no change in laws or regulations, just a little more gumption. Let us start talking about group differences openly. — Charles Alan Murray

7. One of the final challenges for human beings is to get old with as much verve and gumption as
possible. — Alison Judson Ryerson

8. There are times when each of us has to have some gumption to take a stand as to what we wish to preserve or change in order to maintain our self-respect and not be as “a reed shaken with the wind” (Matt. 11:7) . . . . We lose much credibility and strength, and we risk being weighed on an uneven balance, when, Don Quixote-like, we go around “tilting windmills”. — James E. Faust

9. Margaret Mitchell ran into a fancy New York publisher when she was still writing Gone With The Wind.

“So, Little Lady, what’s your Civil War book about?” the publisher said.

Mitchell looked him in the eye: “It’s about people who have gumption and people who don’t.” –Unknown

10. When the worms are scarce, what does a hen do? Does she stop scratching? She does not. She scratches all the harder. A lot of businessmen have been showing less sense than a hen since orders became scarce. They have laid off salesmen; they have stopped or reduced their advertising; they have simply resigned themselves to inaction and, of course, to pessimism. If a hen knows enough to scratch all the harder when the worms are scarce, surely businessmen … ought to have gumption enough to scratch all the harder for business. — B.C. Forbes

11. To all the usual reasons why small companies have an advantage, from nimbleness to risk-taking, add these new ones: The rise of cloud computing means that young firms no longer have to buy their own IT equipment, which helps them avoid having to raise money or take on debt. Likewise, the webification of the supply chain in many industries, from electronics to apparel, means that even the tiniest companies can now order globally, just like the giants. In the same way a musician with just a laptop and some gumption can accomplish most of what a record label does, an ambitious engineer can invent and produce a gadget with little more than that same laptop. — Wired Magazine, The New New Economy

12. My personal feeling is that this is how any further improvement of the world will be done: by individuals making Quality decisions and that’s all. God, I don’t want to have any more enthusiasm for big programs full of social planning for big masses of people that leave individual Quality out. These can be left alone for a while. There’s a place for them but they’ve got to be built on a foundation of Quality within the individuals involved. We’ve had that individual Quality in the past, exploited it as a natural resource without knowing it, and now it’s just about depleted. Everyone’s just about out of gumption. And I think it’s about time to return to the rebuilding of this American resource — individual worth. — Robert Pirsig

I definitely need to re-read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

People who have no gumption:  I just don’t understand it.  Far too many people would rather sit at home and complain about having no job, than get up, walk out the door, and work at something “menial” while waiting for something better to come ’round.

Ten-year-old kids are being dressed from head to foot by Mommy.  They don’t even know how to put on their shoes, or button a shirt.  We used to make fun of Mary Lennox for standing like a statue, expecting Martha to dress her like a doll.  Because she DESERVED to be mocked.

Parents have no gumption about their children’s school.  Somehow, they’ve permitted our schools to become holding tanks for the lowest common denominator.  A school should be a place where those who wish to learn, might learn.  No person should be permitted to befoul our children’s schools with disruption, disrespect, or violence.  A school is intended for students: people with a desire to learn and advance.  Many administrators have no gumption and have taken the easy way out: cater to the population that lives to withhold education from those who want education.  I can think of no viable reason for a school to endure any person of any age who doesn’t want to learn and doesn’t intend to allow anybody else to do so, either.

Buck up, people.  Show some spunk.  Illegitimi non carborundum est.

Darn skippy.


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