I read again the story of a writer who labored for over eight years attempting to sell his writing. Rejection slips, hundreds of them, overwhelmed him. Just as he had given up in despair, another rejection slip came in the mail. It contained the regular boiler plate, but with a hand written note stating, “Nice try.” Two words from a good finder changed this man’s attitude. He kept at it.
The book that he wrote and that was finally accepted for publication is now one of our American Classics, a WOW of a best seller and was made into the most watched TV series of the time. Alex Hailey kept at it and his book, Roots, touched millions of lives.
Two things jump off the page, the persistence of Mr. Hailey and the impact of the Good Finder using two words, “Nice try.”
No matter how much or little praise you get, you will fail if you quit. Praise does not make up for a lack of persistence, a persistence that involves identifying weaknesses and forms a plan for overcoming obstacles. By the same token giving, encouragement need not be a catalogue of eloquence, but a mere “Nice try.”
I wonder if Alex Hailey remembers the name of the editor who penned, “Nice try?” I also wonder if the editor recalls writing those two words.
Paul wrote in Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” The commentators agree with this comment by Adam Clarke:
“The term Attic salt has been used to express some of the principal beauties of the Greek tongue; of such beauties the Gospel of Christ has an endless store.”
Hey, giving a “Nice try” to someone today may change their life and impact one or millions, you never know.
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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