Never give up

blogIMG_8359Several years ago, I ran across this quote somewhere – “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” I don’t really remember where I read it, but that Japanese proverb became one of the inspirational sayings that is written in my handy-dandy, old notebook chock full of handwritten quotes I’ve found and liked.

I remember it seemed most appropriate for a youngster who played soccer with my children on various teams. That young boy seemed to be having a hard time growing into his long legs and he often fell down while racing for the soccer ball or trying to defend the goal box against the opposing team.

But no matter how many times he fell, and he did so often in every game, he popped right back up like one of those old, inflatable clown punching bags. That boy had determination! Fall down seven times, get back up eight.

That quote and the memory associated with it re-emerged in my mind when Papa and I relaxed in a quiet spot just taking in the scenery and warm, summer day on one of our excursion-to-Maryland days.  We noticed a lone wind surfer attempting to glide across the surface of the water. 

Each time that person seemed to catch a good wind with the board’s sail and looked like a successful ride was at hand, boom! Down he went. Climb back up onto the board. Try again. Sail for a bit. Boom. Down again. Climb back up.

I didn’t count how many times he actually fell down but I did notice that he did not give up. He was not going to allow either the windsurf board, the wind, or the waves to defeat him.  

I admire that kind of determination in a person.  It takes courage and resolve to keep going when the going gets hard. It requires fortitude and perseverance not to surrender when it’s just easier to do so. And it also takes hope for a better outcome if you just keep hanging in there.

That’s why I haven’t given up hope about my fellow mankind, even when life on this earth seems dark and dismal, full of violence and hatred.  I hold on to hope for a better world tomorrow for my grandchildren to live in.  

But I don’t just hope. I pray that eventually the tide will turn.

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe