Don't ask for the moon if you have the stars

Sometimes things aren’t what you think they are. But you’re just so sure of yourself. You know you’re right, but no one agrees with you. That can be very frustrating!

Such was the case over the holidays when a neighbor, Bill, invited other neighbors in for a New Year’s Day luncheon, myself included. It was a friendly gesture that rarely comes around, so I looked forward to it and was eager to learn a little more about Bill and his wife, Terry, who recently moved in down the way a bit.

As soon as I arrived, champagne bottle in hand, I was pulled into the kitchen by Amy, their 9-year-old daughter. “Food and drinks belong in the kitchen,” she announced.

When I entered the kitchen, instead of being greeted, everyone was trying to calm down Terry who was visibly upset for being “stupid” and “forgetful”. Apparently, she’d left a key ingredient out of her delicious-smelling stew, now bubbling on the stove, which had “spoiled everything!”–her words, not mine.

Bill insisted on going to the store to pick up the forgotten cloves, but according to her, it was too late, the stew was “no good, now” and couldn’t be remedied.

What came to mind after observing such commotion, was a scene from “Now, Voyager,” a very old movie I’d seen on Turner Classics back awhile. In its most famous scene, Charlotte Vale, played by Bette Davis, says: "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars."

As I see it, more and more each day, people are going off the deep end and failing to see any genuine good. It’s like a thick fog has risen that blinds their hearts from the truth. Terry was thinking with her head instead of feeling her heart. She couldn’t imagine her guests would love the stew despite the missing ingredient. She couldn’t see they were having a great time in each other’s company. She couldn’t see they thought she was a stunning hostess, despite her fluster. She couldn’t feel the love in the room because she was too busy shaming herself.

Terry is like most of us. We all do it. We forget ingredients, or keys, or other objects, because we’re too preoccupied with ourselves and what we want and what we should have or should be by now. It amounts to self-blame, or blaming others, pointing fingers, finding fault, griping, griping, griping. It’s like your brain is tossing around in a dryer endlessly, getting overheated. Meanwhile, your heart is snoozing or in a coma.

So wake up! Look around you. It’s bright out there. You just have to open your eyes and see clearly. You gotta stop asking for the moon and take a breath so that you can see the beautiful stars that are all around you.


Thank you for the wake-up call! I am guilty of sometimes missing the stars in my quest for the moon. You hit the nail on the head for me to start "counting my lucky stars" regularly. Thanks again for another slice of Wilson wisdom 😊

Serenity Township

Real food for thought to see the big beautiful picture! Thank you!

Well Street

We set the bar mighty high for ourselves to reach, and anything short of it is a violation and "proof" that we don't measure up. Everyone who reads this article will relate to how Terry felt.

Feeling from the heart more frequently, like so many things, takes practice, but it sure feels nice when we can do it.

Thank you for sharing another one of your experiences—they contain valuable lessons we'd all do well to learn from.


I heard an analyst on the news say that Americans are all very disgruntled because we think we're supposed to have it all and attain equal status in what we achieve.

This story makes a good point about how we can all spin out of control with worry about perceived failure. Your insight is refreshing because it goes beyond looking on the bright side. It's really about noticing all the beauty and joy that has already come to us.

Thank you for giving us a healthier perspective to put into practice this year❤️