In the realm of things I have read on the bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap label, I think the first several lines are the ones I read most frequently. I tend to start at the beginning of a piece of writing and work my way down, so to speak. The Moral ABC’s, as proposed by Dr. Emmanuel Bronner, is his ideal way of living in this world — in harmony with nature, with others.
“Oh, he must be one of those pinko commies, I bet!” you may be thinking to yourself. Well you’d be quite wrong, and just a quick glance at the unscented baby soap will tell you that — I think this is on the baby soap intentionally because we must raise our children well from the start! “Arctic White Owls by Birth Control survive: the female does not go into heat until she sees three full months of frozen food for her young ones to survive! Putting to shame our welfare-state, with its untrained masses, enslaved by Marxist half-true hate!” — and further, on the peppermint label it reads “Marxist-Socialism… does demoralize-divide-decay the whole human race today!” Note I am well aware that communism and socialism are not the same thing.
The very first line in the Moral ABC comes to us by way of Rabbi Hillel, who taught thousands to be better people. “If I’m not for me, who am I? Nobody!” which is a modification of saying Hillel’s expression — If I am not for myself, who is for me?
I am quite fond of both versions. In order to get anything accomplished in life — really, anything significant at all — you have to have a sense of self, a sense of knowing who you are and what you are capable of doing. Above that, though, you have to really believe that you are able to do what needs doing. You must believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter if the thing you want to get done is a workout program or working on powering through a book of personal development (I’m looking at you, The Compound Effect — one of my favorite books right now!) as the bottom line is that you must believe that you can do something before you can do it.
A great example that I got from Darren Hardy, the author of The Compound Effect is right out of sports history and a good example of why we must believe we can do something. In the world of running, it was widely believed — and scientists and doctors all attested — that it was physically impossible to run one mile in under a minute.
Then Roger Bannister did it in 1954. Suddenly, many people started to duplicate his results — running the mile in under four minutes.
Now that they knew it could be done, they did it!
What can you do today that you previously thought was impossible?