Judge Lawrence Huerta: Enriching Our Lives
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Enriquezca Su Vida
(Enriching Your Life)

A self-published book by Judge Lawrence Huerta
©1968.

translation by Anthony Nuño, 1999.

CHAPTER XVIII:
"THE EXCITEMENT OF ENTHUSIASM"

"No person who is enthusiastic about his work has anything to fear from life."

-- SAMUEL GOLDWYN

"I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm."

-- HARRY S. TRUMAN

Throughout my life, I have seen that countless list of objectives can be reached with enthusiasm. Personally, I can say that with the fire of enthusiasm I accomplished the best tasks of my life.

Enthusiasm is like an inner mental light that shines from within and is not superficial. Etymologically, the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek language and it means: "Possessed by God"" En-within--and Tusias--God. This definition is accurate because if we analyze the characteristics of enthusiastic people, we can identify certain characteristics which only God possesses: a). The one that provides and grants without lessening what they already have. b). The one that shines without reducing its brightness. c). The one that eliminates the evils of pessimism.

Of all the traits which constitute personality as a whole, enthusiasm is the element which pays the highest interest. Enthusiasm is the essential and necessary element to triumph in everything. It is the guiding light. It is the virtue which uplifts man higher and higher. It also makes tasks and projects pleasant since it provides patience during difficult moments and it promotes the need to be creative and to create the means to produce something out of nothing. Therefore, it pays to possess enthusiasm. Don't you believe it?

Enthusiasm is an irrepressible emotion and if you carefully observe your fellow human beings, you will notice that enthusiasm is revealed in one's physical appearance. This attitude reveals the amount of enthusiasm that exists in each individual. You will be surprised to discover among adults who lack enthusiasm that it is shown in their physical posture, facial expressions and actions. Those happy individuals who possess enthusiasm rapidly attract attention and captivate their audience with their powerful magnetism. These enthusiastic people become leaders because they communicate this energy to those around them. On the other hand, nobody is interested in following a stiff or dull person. The person who lacks enthusiasm is unattractive and unpopular.

For five years, I served as an adviser for the Navajo Nation. I felt very comfortable among them and became interested in learning their traditions and customs which unfortunately have become corrupted by the white man. During the time I spent with them between 1955 and 1960, the tribe received millions of dollars in oil contracts. Because of these contracts you would think that they are in a well-off situation, but this is not so. This is due to the lack of enthusiasm and they owe this condition to the great white father.

During the last half of the 19th century, the Navajo Nation was subjugated by the mighty white man and his greedy desires to take control of anything valuable on the Navajo land. During this time, they slowly drained ounce by ounce the humanity out of the Navajo Indians. Specifically, they were taken away. The old Navajos call it, "The march of death," from Northern Arizona to Southern New Mexico. They were taken like a herd of cattle, even worse, because those who transport cattle choose the healthy and stronger cattle, but not with the Navajo Indians. The white man herded all members of the tribe. This journey proved to be difficult and mortal for the elderly and young children who fell along the road, and even some animals get a more decent burial than those poor souls.

Years later an overwhelming sense of remorse made the white man think that he should compensate the Navajos for the cruel and unjust treatment. Consequently, the government provided everything for the Navajos, treated them as if they were unwanted orphans, and the tribe was relocated to their reservation. Once the geographic limits were established, the one thing the white man did not replace was their human dignity.

The American government, just as only it can do, established a central office named The Bureau of Indian Affairs. Through this department they provided what they considered "Justice." They also provided medical care and they listened to their complaints and squabbles. Schools have been built, land has been added to build churches of different denominations to promote the Christian faith. The government lent them money and gave them all kinds of assistance but took away a great part of their cattle to control overgrazing.

After accomplishing all this and appeased his conscience, the great white father carefully sat in his well-cushioned couch feeling as an all almighty God, "On the seventh day let's rest." I repeat, the one thing which was never returned to the Navajo Indians was "That" they most needed - Their sense of identity as humans, the will to fight. Today, observing the tribal government in action and their ceremonies, and social events, immediately we are struck by the sense of cold indifference and impassiveness which is reflected on their faces. Such attitude can be observed from the littlest boy tied to the papoose to the oldest member of the tribe.

This definite expression of apathy reveals the total lack of divine inspiration of enthusiasm. This missing feeling of enthusiasm could be easily replaced among the Navajos but the great white father is cold and is not interested in admitting his faults and correcting them. Undoubtedly, enthusiasm is one of the traits of the American individual, and the American Indian should possess the highest amount since his roots have been grounded in the American soil longer than any other individual who pretends to.

Continuing ahead, I believe I must insist on the fact that one must develop a high degree of self-esteem before you can feel enthusiasm in your body and in your soul. Once we acquire the spirit of enthusiasm, we will feel the force of this admirable feeling. Emerson called it, "The Mother of the all the efforts and without enthusiasm nothing great was ever attained."

Enthusiasm is contagious and marvelous and it should be dispersed. A while back I read this description by A. B. Zu Tavern, "Before water can generate steam it must boil. A locomotive will not move an inch before the steam monitor shows 212 degrees. A man without enthusiasm is like someone who is trying to move the engine of his life with lukewarm water. Remember, enthusiasm is the electricity in the battery, it is the fermenting bubble in wine, it is the healthy vigor in fresh air, it is the heat in the fire, and the act of breathing in each living organism."

When a person fails to impress you, have you thought about the reason why? I bet you nine out of ten, the person did not show self-confidence. How was this person supposed to show any enthusiasm in their merits or talents?

Remember the degree of enthusiasm is reflected in your physical posture, (is your posture firm and erect?) and in your facial expressions (Do you show a gloomy and anxious look?), in your actions ( are these actions positive and assertive? or negative and insecure?) It is hard to be able to see us the way other people see us. But if we really wish to have an exact idea as how we are seen by others, take a look in the mirror, or look at some photographs that were taken without you noticing, ask a friend their objective opinion about you. If we disagree with this objective opinion, do not get annoyed. "The truth" will help us to correct the wrong conceptions we have about ourselves.

No human being should adopt as a best effort a mediocre approach. In order to accomplish your highest potential, perhaps you should have a pep talk with yourself, just like the one the coach has with his players at half-time during a game. Do not wait, acknowledge your talents and merits, and repeat them frequently. Do not hesitate to listen like you did when you were a child and heard the story of the little locomotive that could. Make that your motto which took the little engine to the top of the steep hill. Repeat one and a thousand times, "Yes, I can, yes I can" and after you have conquered your objectives, you too will be able to happily say, "I knew I could."

Convince yourself that enthusiasm is a fundamental part of your life and believe in it. Face each day enthusiastically and at night, you will enjoy the soothing dreams that every mortal desires. Think about success with the utmost possible enthusiasm and at the end, you will see that it was worth doing it that way.

If you think that you can't accomplish something, then you won't be able to.

If you think of yourself as a failure, of course you will be one.

If you wish to win but you think you can't, of course, you won't.

Maintain and nourish in your soul the flame of enthusiasm. Don't allow it to be extinguished.

DO YOU HAVE A BURNING DESIRE? Do you trust yourself that you can fulfill it? What obstacles prevent its accomplishments?

WHAT KIND OF THINGS HAVE MERIT FOR YOU? Are you enthusiastically ready to start the fight to accomplish it?

DO YOU INVOLVE OTHER PEOPLE WITH YOUR ENTHUSIASM? Are you convinced of your own talents and merits, so you can convince others about them? Is your attitude optimistic, enthusiastic, happy and energetic?

CHAPTER XIX