Apr 17

A Good Sign

prom_signDriving through town last night on one of the many unpaid fares I run for my daughters, I came around a corner and saw the sign on the right lighting up the evening sky.

I don’t know Hannah or Ramsey.  I don’t know their story.  I don’t know if they have a history.  I don’t know if she’ll see this coming or if it’s completely out of the blue.

Though I can write the story a thousand different ways in my head, in every version I come back to the same simple truth – this Ramsey kid’s got moxie.

I love moxie.

I love the word.

I love to see it.

I love to say it.

I always picture a 1930’s sports reporter or boxing promoter chomping on a fat cigar whenever I hear it.

“The kid’s got moxie, ya see.  Loaded with it.  His old man had moxie.  His dear sweet granny’s got it.  The whole family’s overflowing with the stuff.  Moxie!”

It’s a fun word.

The word itself, though technically considered slang, has three widely accepted definitions:

  1. The ability to face a situation with spirit and/or courage
  2. Aggressive energy: initiative
  3. Skill:know-how

The beautiful part of the word is that, in situations like the one with Hannah and Ramsey as well as so many that we face in life, all three definitions are in use in pursuit of one goal.

There is a certain amount of courage needed to put yourself out there.  Even if you’re not broadcasting it in big letters on a sign a mile from the High School, asking someone out, for most people, is one of the ‘rawest’ moments of our youth.  Even if you feel fairly confident that you’re going to get an answer to your liking, those few seconds where the question is just hanging out in the universe waiting for a response are like few others.  Ramsey’s word aren’t just figuratively hanging in the air.

Initiative is clear.  Ramsey not only decided that he’s going for it, but he’s not going to do it small.  This kid made a bold decision to not be a passive participant in his own life.  The story may not end the way he wants it to, but he’s writing his own chapter.

When I was in High School, I’m not sure I would have known how to get my message on someone’s sign.  This kid may have known before this week either.  But, he figured it out.  He didn’t let what he didn’t know, stand between him and the goal.


Though I’ve been through it a dozen different ways in my head, I’m not sure I really want to know how this story ends.  Maybe it went perfectly and these two kids live happily ever after.  Maybe it was a “Hail Mary” attempt to land a girl who doesn’t even know his name and it falls short of the goal-line.  Maybe Hannah saw the sign and immediately petitioned the courts for a PPO.  Whatever the final outcome, we could learn a lot from this kid.

We fall short of so many things that we want from our lives because we don’t attack them with moxie.  We don’t have the courage or the spirit to face an intimidating situation.  We don’t show enough initiative to get it done.  We fail to acquire the know-how to do the job.  We all need to be a little more Ramsey in our lives.  Whatever happens at the end of this story, no one will ever be able to say that Ramsey didn’t go for it.  He’s got moxie.

What’s keeping you from making it to the dance?


Permanent link to this article: http://remodelingclay.com/2013/04/a-good-sign/

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