Carry on! These two words carry within much wisdom and much power. So often in life we must do just that. We must carry on. And to be quite honest, these words are most often not easily entreated by you and I. Why is this so? Let us think about this for a moment or two. What would be an accurate definition of this small phrase “Carry on!” I don’t know about you but the very word carry brings to mind the idea of something that is heavy and burdensome. Upon hearing this word, I see in my mind one who is plodding along slowly, slightly bowed beneath a cumbersome load that has been strapped to their back. Isn’t that our general perception is of this rather unpopular word? There are so many associations to be made with this word carry, yes? We have all heard someone say at one time or another, “Oh, they seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.” That very phrase tends to make one just a bit more tired. And do we not always have to carry in the groceries from the car, a chore that none of us really enjoy. It is simply something that must needs be done. Perhaps that is what I am trying to get at this evening. To carry anything is viewed as something that must be done, as a burdensome chore and the sooner it is completed, the sooner we will experience relief. Am I very far off of what the general consensus would be here? I am glad we are agreed then for I feel as though I couldn’t carry on in this manner much longer.
However, I will confess that the idea of this word has made me curious. So let us see what Mr. Webster has to say about this troublesome word “carry”, shall we? It seems there are a great many ways to define this word. If you will indulge me, I would like to share just a few of them with you. Carry properly defined does indeed mean to “hold or support while moving” ( as in “He carried a heavy backpack as he walked the trail.” ) It can also mean to “support the weight or responsibility of” ( such as “She carried a heavy course load for that semester.” ) But upon looking further, I found many positive and even uplifting definitions for this word we do not care much for. Let me ask you, have you ever burst into song and allowed the music to fill your heart? This is sometimes referred to as carrying a tune and it does not matter how good one’s voice may be. If it strikes you to sing, you will find that the music tends to carry you into a feeling of goodness and of joy. It is quite true you know.
The word carry can also mean to hold or move the body or a part of it in a particular way. For example, “She carried herself in such an elegant manner”. I do believe I am seeing a positive trend here in our definition of this word. Let us try a few more, shall we? Here are but a few and I must say I am gaining a whole new perspective of and respect for this down-trodden word. Okay now, here we go – To give impetus to; to propel forward. To be successful in; to win over. For instance, “We lost the game but carried the match resulting in an overall win.” Or how about “To gain the sympathy of; to win over as in “The amateur’s enthusiasm carried the audience.” And to carry on can be defined as to maintain; to conduct such as carrying on a successful business. Now I will not list all of the ways that the word carry is used but I will tell you that the dictionary listed 26 variations on the just the word alone. And most of these were very positive in their use.
Now you may ask, “Why go into such depth over one word or even such a small phrase?” To be honest, I was wondering about that myself. I suppose it is because our use of language and our perception of the words that we speak each day tend to define our very lives. Think about it for a moment or two. When we were discussing the unfortunate fellow who was walking along carrying that heavy backpack, how did you feel as compared to what you felt when you were carrying a tune? And what of the student who carried a heavy course load that semester? Each example brought forth a different emotion from you, did it not?
So what is my point here exactly? I believe I am beginning to realize it this evening as we continue along. Carry on…… It is very important that we do so in life. Our lives and the lives of those we love depend on it. Our very world is dependent on the fact that we do indeed carry on. But how do we view this idea, this concept of carrying on? Is it a burdensome thing that has been placed upon our shoulders that bends our spirits low, so low in fact that we are no longer looking upwards towards our Source. towards the One who gives us Joy and Strength in the morning and Peace in the evening time? Or do we count it as a privilege to carry on, to allow ourselves and those we care for to be propelled forward into the good that Life has for us and to experience the success and blessing of carrying on in the true sense of this small but powerful phrase?
Allow me to add one more thought, if I may. We were placed upon this, our world to exemplify the One who brought us to be. And perhaps the best way for us to accomplish this is to demonstrate by our actions the true and proper definition of carrying on, if you will. For you see, as others notice the manner in which we choose to carry on, many will lean in the direction of our example and adjust their course accordingly. This is how change occurs. This is the way in which to change our world.
Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.