Recently I read a heartwarming story about an inventor, Gene Fleming who was visiting a Nebraska farm one day. While there he encountered a goose named Andy who had been born without feet. Andy spent his days flopping around in the dirt. That is until he met Fleming. Fleming’s forte was creating practical gadgets to simplify life and Andy caught his heart so he decided to use his talent to help Andy.
Initially Fleming worked with a pair of baby shoes filled with foam rubber. These were attached to Andy’s legs along with a harness and leash around Andy’s chest. After a bit of gentle urging, Andy began to stand, stumble, and ultimately walk. But that was just the beginning for Andy. Because soon after, Fleming designed fake paddles so Andy could swim, and then he attached metal spikes to another pair of shoes so Andy could walk across ice and, finally, he designed another pair of shoes to make it possible for Andy to mate.
Andy was now capable of a full life. Gene Fleming continued to make improvements to the “shoes” and then Andy and he began touring. They visited schools and malls; then started Andy’s Fan Club. The club motto was Great occasions for helping others come seldom, but small occasions surround us daily.
Their fame traveled, first in Nebraska, and then duo appeared on national talk shows and in magazines, and soon all over the world. Shoe manufacturers jumped in by keeping Andy’s wardrobe trendy including a pair of high-tops. Their message was simple. A lot of us aren’t perfect (who is?) and we can all use some help. By providing assistance we make the world a better place.
An erstwhile inventor and a crippled goose not only created memories for the many people they encountered, but left a message for all of us. Even though Gene Fleming and Andy are no longer living, their story continues to make a positive point. Writer, Lydia M. Child, says it this way. An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves. So the question is, what opportunity to help is showing itself to you today? The other thing is that the more you help, the better YOU feel!!
Jean Walters is an International Best Selling Author, Personal Growth Consultant, teacher, and speaker. You can reach her through her website: http://www.spiritualtransformation.com or 314 566 5231