“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent… Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
When I’m playing trivia and the category is Presidents, I feel a lot as Pavlov’s dog must have felt. I find it strange that some of the least known men voiced some of the sagest Presidential words ever spoken. “Silent” Calvin Coolidge may be my favorite among the unknown sages. Sorry, Millard Fillmore.
The above quote in particular has lifted me off the floor more times than I care to count. I admit without a single qualm that I’m not hard to knock down. I’ve been laid low by mere words countless times. However, my sincere belief is that I am hard to knock out.
I have this insane drive that no matter how low I sink; it just will not let me stay down. I had the chance to die once and, at the last moment, chose not to. I have yet to come up with what seems to me a valid reason to have lived so I keep getting back up looking for that raison d’etre.
I have changed battlefields, but not the fight. I write now rather than speak but it’s in the same war and against the same foes. I’m not any more talented at either one. I am a hell of a lot better at getting back on my feet while keeping my focus channeled inward. The inclination to destroy everyone and everything that knocked me down is still there. The restraint on myself is stronger, but that’s not my doing. As the scripture says, “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit… Might and power—I have none. The Spirit of God, I might have a sliver.
My ideal end is to die in a one-sided battle to the death like those at the Alamo, Masada, or Thermopylae. What can I say, I’m a romantic, at least in the classical sense of the word. I’m a vagabond dreamer knight tilting at windmills until the end while thinking someone cares. Unlike Don Quixote, I will not repent of my dreams of fighting the good and noble fight.
I’ve been down lately. It’s only an eight count. I’m getting up again to sally forth into the next adventure.