Wherein I Discover That the Buck Stops Here

Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman

Harry Truman, our thirty-third president, had  a plaque on his desk that said, “The Buck Stops Here.” With that plaque, he reminded himself that he was responsible for the choices that he made. I was reminded of this bit of trivia while reading a book called The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews.  It is an inspirational book, and though I’m skeptical about the value of some of those kinds of books, this one intrigued me. Truman’s contribution to the traveler in the book was his philosophy embodied by the plaque. “The Buck Stops Here.” I will take responsibility for the choices I make.

I have been actively pursuing employment since around August. Anyone who has been likewise engaged knows that there are more people than there are jobs to employ them. I being by far too introspective,  wasted a lot of time revisiting my past life experiences and mulling over their effect on my employ-ability. Crazy-mad thoughts chased one another like Chopin’s Minute Waltz in my head. I had a bad case of the “If Onlies.” If only we had found a way to stay in Portugal. If only we hadn’t moved to Florida. If only I had not gone to a Bible college but gone somewhere that would have made me employable. If only I hadn’t been emotionally, sexually and spiritually abused in the past. If only we had not spent so much of our lives working in non-profit organizations….  It wasn’t pretty.

Truman has never been my favorite president, but that motto – I could not get it out of my head. I could not change what happened in the past, but I can choose  how I react now to both the past, present and future. I am not even too old to change careers if necessary. Grandma Moses began painting when she was 80 years old. It isn’t easy exchanging a lifetime of reaction for a life of being proactive. It isn’t happening from one day to the next. But, it is happening. Thank you, Mr. President.


About Susan P

Reader, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, traveler...
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4 Responses to Wherein I Discover That the Buck Stops Here

  1. Kevin Spencer says:

    I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
    Harry S. Truman

    I kinda like ol’ Harry. He told the truth. When he spoke, you could believe him.

    While I too have my own fun set of ‘if onlies’, I learned it was possible to change the past. You couldn’t go back in time, and you couldn’t change the facts, but you could change how people looked at those facts and how they considered them.

    People don’t mind that you got knocked down. It’s what happened after the knock-down that makes a good story.

    And your stories Susan, are as always, wonderful.

    Thanks for sharing!

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