Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Win some, lose some

Fall seven times, stand up eight. 
-Japanese Proverb

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It is an unfortunate thing, but you cannot win every battle even when the truth, or good intention, or right is on your side. This is a difficult lesson to learn (1st lesson). But the world keeps revolving, and another battle has been fought and there are winners and losers. And even though you were sure that you’d win because right was on your side you still loss. And you feel slighted. You feel like the world has conspired against you. You feel as though it cannot be possible that things have turned out this way. Maybe it is a bad dream from which you will wake-up. But you are up in fact you are wide awake. But there is a lesson in all of this (2nd lesson): you must not become jaded by these temporary defeats. And you must devise a mantra and you will repeat it to yourself often. Mantra: “I will not be cynical, I will not join the sleep walkers who think injustice is okay, who believe nothing is wrong, who do not believe things can be changed. I will fight to right injustice and I will do so with integrity and I will stand my ground.” Then after you say this you will remember all the people you admire who have come before you. You will think about your ancestors, and you will think about the fighters in your family past and present, and you will think about culture heroes like Che and Malcolm, Ms. Park and Ms. Simone and Cesar Chavez and Julia de Burgos and so many others who have not and will not be silenced. And you will remember your North and you will follow it and you will continue to dream. You will decide that you will not become paralyzed with inaction because there will be many more battles to fight. You will continue to walk your path with integrity. And here is another lesson, from counter-cultural artist Janis Joplin (3rd lesson): “don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” And perhaps your mission is not to win but to bear witness and to speak up and stand up against injustice. And these acts take courage. So perhaps your mission is to liberate yourself from within. And then you will learn another lesson (4th lesson) (and this one comes from Ghandi): “you must be the change you want to see in the world.” You will remember that winning or losing is irrelevant, what is important is what you do with this new information. How can this unexpected circumstance inform your self and direct your future? What new dreams have been revealed to you?

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