Jack be nimble
Aborigines were adaptable, they moved with the changes of land, adjusted according to the change of seasons, understood the necessity of change and learned from the changes. Being quick in their moves, nimble in their mind, keeping alert and observant at all times.
Being nimble is an asset; being able to change, adjust, adapt – making mistakes, learning from them – growing in mind and spirit to face the exciting challenges life throws at us. ‘Jack be nimble’, the poem goes, ‘Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick’. Today many of us would be engulfed by the flames – unable or unwilling to adapt to this rapidly changing world in which we live. Holding on to the old, rather than embracing the new – climbing high above the candles flame rather than being burned by apathy, discontent and lack of motivation.
Nimble is defined as quickness of motion – either in body or in mind. It conjures up thoughts of agility, lightness and clarity. Quick of thought, quick of action. As we think with this clarity we take action before the thought becomes stale, the idea loses momentum and the prey disappears back into the undergrowth, hidden in the bush that has risen up to obscure the view, confuse the mind and hide the vision once again. No hunters would do this. They are decisive, take action – or go hungry.
‘Jack be nimble’ commands him to jump high, aspire to, stretch upwards, go beyond his belief and by so doing achieve his goal. It dares us to revitalise those dreams, thoughts and ideas that have since faded through years of inaction and passivity. Reminding us of life as it was, life as it could have been and life as it is now. We can wallow in the negativity of these thoughts or answer the call implicit in these lines, inviting us to take action. To move from adversity to victory necessitates that we become nimble.
Being nimble in mind is not related to nor dependent on the colour of your skin or your origin. It is an asset that you can tap into, that certainly enriches your life and most importantly allows you to incorporate the new – and the changes that will benefit you now and into the future.
Nimble has the power to build. It is positive, swift of foot, quick witted, adept, light and active. The ability of the Aborigines to live and adapt to the harshness of Australia embraced it. Life as we know it today demands it!
‘Nimble thought can jump both sea and land.’ (William Shakespeare)