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The Pump

While watching a basketball game, I glanced up on the bookcase above the TV and saw this old hand water pump. It was a pump that my mother gave me years ago that came from my childhood home. When she gave it to me, I mounted it on a square piece of wood and placed it on my bookshelf to serve as a reminder that life is like that old hand water pump; you have to put something in before you can get anything out.

The basic operation of a hand water pump is: you need to put water in to get water out. And, if you do that correctly while using good equipment and connected to a source (good well pipe) the benefits will outweigh the effort.

It’s highly advisable that you begin with a good solid pump attached to a good well water pipe. Our pump was made of iron, making it rugged, where it could withstand weather of any kind. The only thing that required servicing was the replacement of the leather seal (which insured proper suction for bringing water up the well pipe). But, in order to get water to come up the pipe, there again, certain action steps needed to be taken.

As you grasped the water pump handle, you pour water (that had been saved in a container from the previous pumping) into the top part of the pump and at the same time begin pumping like mad! This is called “priming the pump.” As you pump, the suction is created and then water from the bottom of the well would start coming out the pump’s spout. You could then back off’ pumping “like mad.” Your previous hard work started the water flowing and for it to continue you’d just keep pumping at a steady and easy pace. Once you stopped pumping the handle, the flow of water stopped. Later, when you wanted more water, you’d need to prime the pump again. Therefore, before you stopped pumping, it was very important for you to refill the “prime bucket” lest you not have anything to get the water flowing again! Refilling the prime bucket was the first thing we were taught to do; that way, you didn’t need to remember to refill it!

The rules for using that old hand water pump are very much like the rules of success:

Begin with a specific goal in mind. (I want water)

Have a steadfast resolve and work hard to do what it takes to accomplish your goal. (I KNOW there’s water down there and I will put forth the effort to get it)

Have good equipment and/or knowledge. (I’m confident I have a good operational water pump)

Make sure that your efforts are directed to a fruitful source. (the pump is connected to a good well pipe)

Invest the necessary capital. (I will pour what water I have in the prime container in order to bring the well water up)

I will continue to put forth the energy and effort to get the results I desire. (I will pump the handle of the water pump ‘like mad’ until the water flows).

Once the goal is obtained, you can ‘back-off’ somewhat, but always keep a watchful eye on continuing to be of service to others. (I can keep an easy going/steady pumping and water will continue to flow).

I will save some of what I make so that, if and when it’s ever needed, I will have that to begin again and/or start another project. (Remember to always re-fill the prime water container).

But I also know what my efforts are worth. Benjamin Franklin once said: “When the well is dry, we will know the worth of the water.”

Complacency is the what makes the well run dry in our lives. Hard work, perseverance and vigilance bring sustained success.

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