April 21, 2012
God gave us burdens. He also gave us shoulders. Some have broader shoulders than others.
The old maxim is “Life isn’t fair.” To be honest, it’s not. A human’s capacity to measure his or her own successes often lies in the accumulation of achievements. The Wall Stre...et banker is successful; the best-selling author is successful; and that man you see on the television? Well, he’s successful, too. It stands to reason that if one has no worldly accomplishments, then one is a failure. Does reason incline us to believe this is so or does greed? Is it the human condition to create and advance? And, if we fail to do so, are we somehow damaged and defective? The scrutiny of human eyes would answer an emphatic “yes” to this question. A “yes” bearing an exclamation point. A “yes” that goes off with the deafening ferocity of a firecracker.
So, what is to be made of us who fail? Failure comes in a variety of jabs and punches. It can ruin a man financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. What should we make of a battered and bruised face that stares back out at us from the mirror? How should we repair the splintered bone and jagged flesh? Is it not devastating to see something that was once virile and dominating become fractured and withered? The point of this examination is not to raise questions. It is to answer them. In the quest for truth and peace, let’s answer some of the questions.
The way you measure success can and will be your downfall. If success is measured by achievement and applaud only, then of course you will have a skewered world view. Survival has been a dominant drive in man since his creation. Yet, survival is no longer good enough. We must not survive; we must conquer. This is, of course, quite contrary to the nature of life itself. No matter who you are, where you’ve been, where you come from or where you’re going, you’re getting scars. Each day a little nick will work itself into the flesh. The next day perhaps a thorn. The next perhaps a wider gash. You will lose blood and you will spill blood. The great question of life is not how to cover up your scars; the great question of life is how to wear your scars. Should you pose as a disoriented beggar, clutching one trembling hand to a patch of scar tissue? Perhaps you should stand tall and display your scars of battle as any proud soldier would.
How you wear your bruises and bumps, tics and tears, wounds and welts is how you define your success. The simple and clear truth of the matter is that the absolute avoidance of hurt does not make you any stronger. For in order to succeed you must surely be strong. What makes you strong is losing the match and stepping into the ring the next day with a split lip and a black eye. What makes you a success is not an uninterrupted record of appraise, poise, and elegance. What makes you a success is falling down and staggering back up, losing your way and finding another, and continuing even when there is no reason to.
There is a German proverb that goes like this: “Der Appetit kommt beim Essen.” Loosely translated, this means: “The appetite comes from eating.” There’s a couple ways you could consider this quote. One would be that by doing something habitually, you come to crave it more. The other, more abstract way would be to say that the desire for something does not exist until you develop a critical need for it. This means that you will not get back up until you have the need to. Yet, when knocked down, you assuredly get up. Why? Because it is cause and effect. It is the action and follow through. It is the desire to change and the need to react. In short, it is the developed appetite through a lifetime of eating. The measure of success is not success itself. It is the will to persist in the total absence of it.
© Megan Snider
(c) Megan Allyce Snider
Copr. M. Allyce Snider 2012
Copyright Megan Snider MMXII
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