Silver Lining: The Shoulders of Giants

May 3, 2010

The Shoulders of Giants

“If I have seen further,

it is only by standing

on the shoulders of giants.”

Sir Isaac Newton

I’ve been feeling kind of burned out lately. My feet plod along, one after another. Clean, cook, school, clean again. Left, right, left, right. I get tired sometimes.

Once in a while, I look past my own weary shoulders and see other people and their shoulders.

I see my neighbor, former church leader, and friend. At my best friend’s wedding reception, she restocks the trays of food and cleans up abandoned plates. A kitchen towel is draped over her shoulder. When I ask why she’s not eating cake and enjoying the party, she smiles and says she volunteered to help. Frequently, she stops by just to say hello or to bring us a plate of homemade muffins, for reasons like “I just thought it might be nice for you to have them for breakfast.” Her shoulder is wet because she walked through the rain to our house.

I see the shoulders of my good friend, one of the ones who never forgot about me. This year, he transformed his residents and roommates from casual young boys into strong, spiritual, responsible young men leaving to serve honorable missions. When I tried to credit him for this, he shrugged it off his shoulder with a casual “oh no Brookums, it was Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father changed them.” Which is true, but I hope he knows that Heavenly Father chose to place that special divine mission on his strong shoulders, to be that catalyst, for a reason.

And I see the elementary school crossing guard, Genie. Genie’s been helping children cross the street safely for eight years. She remembers the name of almost every child she’s helped, asking how my brother John is and telling me he was in second grade when she first started. She tells me she's worried about losing her job because of district budget cuts. Rain or shine (and let's face it, it's mostly rain), she’s smiling and energetic every morning. Her shoulders are hidden behind a thick neon orange vest, complete with a matching flag that says SCHOOL on it in bulky black letters. The brightness of her smile is the only thing that outshines it.

As I look around, I realize I don’t have to drag my feet and trudge along. I do have to keep moving, keep progressing, but that’s all part of the plan. What I don’t have to do is keep complaining about the small weight on my shoulders. I don’t have to keep looking down and focusing on myself. If I just look up, I can see so much further.

I guess I’ve been feeling kind of inspired lately.

And I have the many giants in my life to thank for that.


  1. I'm having a super emotional day and the story of that crossing guard asking about John is making me tear up a little. Thanks for writing a blog about good things, I needed that. You're a great writer!

  2. Brooke, you are such an amazing girl (who writes amazing blog posts!). Dont ever forget that. I love you and cant wait till you get up here for summer! :)

  3. :) Love you, love your writing, so much. :)

  4. AnonymousMay 03, 2010

    dang girl, another winner! love you!
    (I had to write my name cuz I couldn't do it as my google account cuz i'm on my mom's comp and it's weird)

  5. Brooke, you are such an inspiring person. Love you

  6. brooke, you are purely amazing and i love you so much <3

  7. I love this! That's so true! Whenever we focus only on ourselves, it basically magnifies our problems. Whenever we look past ourselves, we can really see how blessed we are, and life ends up not being all that bad! In fact, it ends up being GREAT! It's all about perspective! :)

  8. Well said, my friend.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...