Need Food for Thought? Chew on this!

* "Chew on This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder" is a book of inspirational short stories by Gary Brock and Kelly Tuck, and is available for purchase here!

*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!


As I drove down the street, I noticed little Shaun setting up a lemonade stand on the median of the entrance of our subdivision. Smiling to myself, I thought, He is a really industrious little fellow, and what a great location! He’s stationing himself in such a manner that he can work the residents whether they’re coming or going; smart boy! This should be a good Saturday for selling lemonade with temperature in the eighties. I waved to him before turning out of the neighborhood to shop for weekly groceries and fill up with gas. He should be set up by the time I come back through. I’ll definitely give him some business.

Pulling away from the gas pump, my thoughts drifted to cold lemonade. My mouth watered slightly as the memory of a slight twang struck my palate. As I turned into the subdivision, my eyebrows skyrocketed to see a police car with flashing lights parked in front of the lemonade stand. Deciding not to interfere, I slowly drove by and glanced over to see the policeman pointing to Shaun’s sign. It read Lemonade or Beer: 50 cents.

My eyes widened and I did a double take in disbelief. Well, I guess that’s why the police have come! My foot began pumping the brakes to slow the truck to barely a crawl. Where would Shaun even get beer to sell? Maybe he snuck some out of his house? His folks are involved parents though…surely they would have noticed his sign or what he had carried out of the house and intervened. There’s got to be more going on here. Curiosity took hold of the steering wheel, and I decided to park on the side of the street and walk up to the stand. To my relief, by the time I’d arrived everyone was laughing.

“Hey there, Shaun,” I smiled, pointing to the sign. “I think I’ll have a beer today.”

“Coming right up!” Shaun giggled, quickly turning around. He grabbed a cup, filled it with ice, and poured me a beer…a root beer.

Laughing, I glanced back at the policeman. “I guess a 50 cent beer from a nine year old entrepreneur got someone’s attention.”

“You better believe it.” He shook his head with a grin. “We had something like ten calls within five minutes.”

“Is he going to have to take his sign down?” I asked before paying Shaun for my drink and taking a sip.

“No, Shaun’s father ran home to get a marker so he can write ROOT below or above beer. Really great marketing, kid! You sure got everyone’s attention.” The officer pulled out two quarters and pointed to me. “I’ll have what he’s having.”

“Thanks again, Shaun,” I smiled. “I’ll probably be back for some lemonade later in the day.”

“Don’t wait too long, Mr. Davis,” Shaun replied, his eyes glittering mischievously. “I might be sold out!”

Laughing, I waved and began walking towards my truck. It suddenly dawned on me the power of just one single word. “Root” in front of “beer” changed everything. How could one small word make such a huge difference? I remembered just yesterday as I watched the 24 hour news channel, the words “Breaking News” crossed the screen. Very quickly, I’d discovered, the “breaking” news was just an update and nothing earth shattering or of much importance; in fact, the word “news” is defined as newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events or information not previously known to someone. So, in a sense…the one word “breaking” was just used for added effect since the word “news” already covered the information that was about to be communicated.

As I drove through the subdivision to my house, I thought about the weather forecast I’d heard earlier in the day. The meteorologist had forecasted a “blistering” afternoon temperature…and then proceeded to say that the afternoon temperature would approach the upper eighties. Hot, yes, but blistering… There’s no way we’d be frying any eggs on the sidewalk to sell with Shaun’s lemonade and beer.

As I pulled into my driveway, I drank the rest of the root beer and continued to ponder over the power of one word. I believe we need to pay a whole lot more attention to our word, whether spoken, typed, or written. A word can inspire. A word can destroy. Our word is power that each of us create, it is a gift, it is valuable. We must remember that a word is a seed planted. One word can change someone’s entire day, for the better or for the worse. The course of a life can be changed by one word. The course of history can too. One word, one second, just a breath, just the stroke of a pen, just the typing of a text or email…it costs nothing and is worth so much. A word cannot be unheard after spoken. A word can be erased or deleted after printing, but not forgotten. A word is short but carries endless vibrations.

A little boy with a great marketing strategy reminded me that…

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*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!

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