A Spittin' Image
The doctor said to a new father, "You have a cute baby."
"I bet you say that to all the new parents," smiled the proud daddy.
"No," he replied, "just to those whose babies really are
"So what do you say to the others?"
I say, "He's the spittin' image of you."
Do you suppose they teach that in medical school?
I'm told that a young mother enlisted the help of a friend in taking
her infant identical twins to the doctor. Since the waiting area was
full, the two women, each with a twin, were seated on opposite sides
of the room. After a few minutes someone commented, "It's amazing
how much those two babies look alike!"
The friend was quick to reply, "Well, they should. They have the
same father." I haven't heard whether the misunderstanding was ever
With identical twins, it's easy to see that they are the "spittin'
image" of each other. Actually, that term "spittin' image" stems
from an old misunderstanding itself. Joel Chandler Harris, author of
the Uncle Remus stories, explained that when an American slave
seemed to be saying, "spittin' image," he or she was actually
saying, "spirit and image," as: "'He's the spi'it 'n' image of his
daddy." It meant more than they merely looked alike. Spirit and
image - alike, inside and out.
And what makes it even more interesting is the ancient truth from
the monk Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), who said, "What we love
we shall grow to resemble." Or put another way, we become the spi'it
'n' image of that which we hold dear. We are shaped by that which we
admire most, and by the people we love most.
It works like this: Those who admire success may become "the image
of success." Those who admire ambition will, to even a casual
observer, look ambitious, perhaps even driven. Those who admire and
love the gentle saints of their faith will, more than likely, remind
others of those same saints in their attitudes, words and actions.
Day by day, we become the spi'it 'n' image of the people we
befriend, admire and love.
An unknown writer tells a story about her grandmother and a person
she deeply admired. The story goes like this:
"My grandmother was born in a small west Texas farming town on
August 26, 1929, two months and three days before Black Tuesday,
the stock market crash that started the Great Depression. As the
youngest daughter of sharecroppers, who earned their living by
picking cotton, she knew the meaning of barely getting by. Times
were tough and she learned to never waste anything.
Her Uncle Jess was a compassionate man who always treated her
with kindness. Each time she would visit him, she always left
with the same feeling: I am special. After all, she was the only
person who was allowed to drink from his special pink drinking
glass. One day, she took the pink glass out to the water cooler,
a special room that stored and cooled the water generated from
the windmill. Out in the water cooler, she dropped the glass.
Looking down at the hundreds of glass fragments, she began to
cry. She had been entrusted with this special glass and now it
Her crying was interrupted when she heard Uncle Jess call out,
'Ruby Nell, I was thinking. I'm tired of that silly old pink
glass. Would you please break it for me?'
She ran back to him calling out, with the enthusiasm that only a
six-year-old can summon, 'I did it, Uncle Jess! I did it!'"
How many times did Ruby pass that story along out of admiration for
her uncle? How often did she remember his kindness and compassion
and show the same to others? Over the years of a long life, how many
times would she choose to believe in herself because of the way
Uncle Jess always made her feel: that she was special? And when life
was cruel and people let her down, how many times did she find
enough strength to set aside anger and respond in kindness, because
that is what Uncle Jess would have done?
As little Ruby Nell grew up, she could do worse than to grow into
the spi'it 'n' image of Uncle Jess.
We are shaped by that which we admire most, and by the people we
Who do you love and admire?
What qualities draw you to them?
And how can you bring more people like that into your life?
~ Steve Goodier ~
[ by: Steve Goodier - Copyright © 2011 - from Steve Goodier (LifeSupport@yahoogroups.com) ]
All Rights Reserved.