The lesson conveyed by this adorable children’s book is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1930. It teaches us that hardship, rejection, and disappointment can be overcome through perseverance, stewardship, and kindness. While The Little Engine That Could delivers a powerful message, the happy ending we see in this story doesn’t always ring true in real life. Let’s explore why that is.
It's Your Choice
In the story, a little train was attempting to deliver toys and food to good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain when she encountered mechanical difficulties. Sound familiar? Now, this is an important part of our story. How would you respond? Would you allow anger and frustration to overcome you? Or would you focus on developing a new plan? It is a choice; your choice.
The little train didn’t have a cell phone or roadside assistance. She had to rely on the kindness of others to help her. With her good intentions and perfect manners, you would expect that as soon as anyone saw that she was stuck, they would rush to her assistance. Not so. Unfortunately, the first, second, and third engines that saw her arrogantly refused her requests for help and continued on down the tracks. How disappointing and frustrating that must have been.
How could we recover from such disappointment? We could choose to be grateful, even when things don’t go as planned. It’s a matter of perspective. Let’s enjoy the opportunities we do have–spending time with friends and loved ones and doing things we enjoy every day.
Eventually, after several failed attempts, the little train caught the eye of a little engine. This engine had never been over the mountain. She even doubted that a train of her size and condition would be able to carry the cars to the boys and girls on the other side of the mountain.
But like the Little Engine that said “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” all the way across the mountain, we can also persevere through the difficulties we face and maintain a positive outlook, refusing to allow negativity dominate our thoughts and words.
Remember The Little Engine That Could.