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The Little Engine That Could

Childhood stories shape us. We naturally gravitate to themes and storylines that appeal to what we need to learn or what we enjoy learning most. When I look back on the stories that shaped my personality, it is apparent that The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper represents a life lesson for me.

 
Most are aware of the simple plot about a train filled with toys for children on the other side of the mountain breaks down unable to deliver the gifts and toys. Three engines refuse to help due to either being arrogant or pessimistic. The final engine, a new blue and rather small engine, at first is unsure of its ability to help since it is so small and it has never been over the mountain before. Yet, the little blue engine tries and through optimism and sheer will power, the engine becomes the Little Engine that Could. 
 
How often have I begun a task optimistically only to realize I’m not the one for the job! Yet, how many times have I put my mind to it even chanting, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” With resolve and an optimistic spirit I have accomplished many tasks thanks to the lesson I learned from The Little Engine that Could.
 
What stories have shaped you? What life lessons have you learned through children’s books? Share your story with someone today.
 
Piper, Watty. The Little Engine That Could. New York: Platt and Munk, 1961.