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Before Every Great Man...


Too often, we as adults underestimate what kids are capable of. They tend to have amazing beliefs of what humans can do, and can imagine inventions far more advanced what we have now. Yet we just scoff at them and say things like, "he/she is just a child." Here's a short story I heard about how strong a child's determination can be.

Two young boys, let's call them Michael and Sean, were playing in the woods. Michael was 7, Sean was 5, and they were brothers.

Sean suddenly fell into the river. This river had strong currents, which quickly swept him away. The brothers were unsupervised, and there was no time to go looking for an adult. Michael found himself running after Sean instead.

Michael could outrun the river, so he would stop ahead to reach out for his brother. But the boys were too far apart, and the water was too strong for its captive to swim closer. Michael had nothing to hold out to Sean, and Sean had nothing to at least slow himself down. After some time, Michael realized that this river would soon end in a waterfall.

Fortunately, he also saw a tree up ahead, which had a branch extending over the river. Michael ran for it and, upon further inspection, discovered that the branch didn't stretch far or low enough for Sean to grab onto. Still, he climbed the tree as fast as he could, then crawled along the branch. He had to lay down on the very end of the branch and extend his arm downward just to be within Sean's reach.

When his brother was close enough, Michael grabbed Sean's hand. Using the branch for leverage, Michael was able to use both hands to gradually pull his brother up from the water. Eventually, Sean was able to grab onto Michael's arm. Soon, he could reach the branch. Finally, the younger boy was able to help get himself out of the river and onto the tree.

The rescue went on to become major news in their town. Naturally, some people had their doubts. For one, the branch could have snapped from the boys' weight, putting them both in danger. Also, these were just kids. How could a 7-year-old, all by himself, come up with what turned out to be such a brilliant idea to save a life?

One man had an interesting response when someone asked how this rescue was possible. The man said, "because no one was there to tell him that it was impossible."

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