Stop, Look and Listen… You may be the Little Engine that Could!

Could what? Could do the hard thing, could maybe succeed and even exceed somebody else’s expectations. That little engine said it over and over again, “I think I can, I think I can,” and because he thought so, he could.

The illustrated children’s book titled, The Little Engine that Could, first published in 1930 in the US based on a 1902 Swedish story, was voted by the National Education Association in 2007 as one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”

But just for today, lets skip all the hard stuff, those uphill battles you and I face just about every time we slap our bare feet on the cold floor when we get up in the morning. Let’s think about something simple where we can say “I think I can.”

I’m voting for fun…kid sized fun! When is the last time you pulled out a few good old toys and played with them? I’m not talking about a pin-stripe suited banker going “Vroom, vroom” with a toy truck in a daycare sandbox, that would get him carted away. But how about the holiday season coming up soon?

If you’re going to unpack that electric train set and plant it around your Christmas tree again this year, for instance, why not spend a little more time enjoying the miniature world that comes with it? A mini-vacation in a not-quite-make-believe world might be just the thing.

After all, no less a kid than Walt Disney once said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” And football great, Joe Namath, adds, “…when you have fun, you can do amazing things.” What if it really is as simple as that? Maybe you can’t take your toys to work with you, but you can take your attitude of play and say, “I think I can…” and maybe you will.

So, this week The Jamestown Gazette invites you to go downtown to the Toy Train Show at the Gateway Train Station. Meet the kids – and the grownups with a kid inside – who create marvelous worlds of wonder that will entice your imagination down those railroad tracks you’ve dreamed of traveling since you were a kid yourself.

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one,” said Dr. Seuss. Can you do that? I think I can.

So, enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut


The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.