Disclaimer: I started writing this but can’t really remember why but I’m going to try and make it make sense [handy metaphor for life].
As Patches O’Houlihan [dead – killed by a falling ‘luck of the Irish’ sign] says in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story “If you want to have a dodgeball victory, you have to grab it by its haunches and you gotta hump it into submission!” And later adds the 5 Ds of Dodgeball “Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!”
Bruce Lee [dead] said “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
So, here we are again (or for the first time, in which case, welcome), you read my attempt at delivering wisdom. I read a great post from the Art of Manliness quite a while ago entitled Doing Good Vs Doing Nothing about whether or not to attend a funeral and it recently sprang to mind again but not in that context. I’m going to throw another quote in. “Decisions are made by those who show up.” This is a line from The West Wing (which I’m currently re-watching and highly recommend if for no other reason that it gives one hope – albeit fictional), but has been attributed to both Woody Allen [alive] and Harry Truman [dead].
What am I getting at? I’m not really sure. I suppose it’s about showing up. “Showing up for what?!” Cries the audience. Life. Life is a massive gamble. No day brings the absolute certainty of success, happiness, joy, love or anything good, nor does it have to be miserable, but it has to be lived.
If you show up to your own life, you get to make the decisions that change the course of it. That means living the hard parts as well as the fun stuff. That means not scrolling through pointless social media when you could be present. It means trying. It means doing it a little bit better than last time, if you can, and it’s ok if you can’t. It means don’t quit. It means grabbing it by the haunches and well, you know the rest.
I’m on a quote roll… Mr Keating AKA Robin Williams [dead] quotes Walt Whitman [dead] in Dead Poet’s Society, “The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” And he repeats it for good measure “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” In 100ish years from now everyone you know will be dead. In 1000 everything you see around you will have changed. Contribute a verse before it’s too late.
I’ll leave you with a final, great quote from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt [dead] back in 1910:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”