Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pic from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and she find me, unafraid.
It matters now how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
We walk through life and we spend a lot of time throwing our ideas, beliefs, opinions, understandings, and impressions out into the world – how often do we stop talking long enough to listen and notice? How often are we formulating the next thing we are going to say in our head before the person has even finished what they are saying? How often are we planning who we are going to run to after this conversation to tell who about who said what? How often are we just internally tearing down everything the other person is saying rather than trying to understand where they are coming from?
You don’t have to agree, but it’s worth it to listen – if for no other reason than it gives you time for formulate a pertinent response. A dear wise friend once said, “Never get into a fight with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig has fun.” Remember, a rising tide raises all boats.
How can we all rise above?
The Man in the Arena
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,
he 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 should who neither know victory not defeat.