Friday, April 15, 2011

Catch a Tail by the Tiger

Eventually, the sting of rejection gives way to a satisfying numbness.

Although that might have had more to do with Ben and Jerry than with developing calluses over a wound. But we can pretend it's both.

The truth is, though, that this is the way of things. The more times you get stabbed in the face by the figurative sword of life, the less you can feel each blow, until you hardly notice them. You move on to bigger and better things, and when you look back you wonder why those stings were ever a big deal.

That may sound bad. And it can be. Some people stop feeling anything at all. But others flourish. There is exactly one thing that makes the difference, and it isn't birthplace, circumstance, or luck. One word: attitude.

Not everyone realizes it, but attitude is 100% your choice. It is not something that just happens.

But no one likes to hurt. What's the purpose of doing something, if you have to come out of it with a vicious stab wound?

Well, that's sort of the point. A whiny, pampered brat, who is given everything a person could ever want, will never be anything more than what they started as. A whiny, pampered brat. They never have a reason to change, so instead, they stagnate.

Change is painful, sometimes. Growth is never easy. But think of where we might be if we never improved.

Walking was good enough. Why bother learning to ride a horse? Or inventing a carriage for the horse to pull? Or a car to replace the horse and carriage? It seemed so insignificant at the time. So I can ride a horse instead of walking. Big deal. But if that first person had never said "I can do better" we'd never have flown to the moon. Or discovered the oddities of the ocean depths. Or even found a whole new continent on the other side of the world.

Fruit and some campfire barbecue was good enough. Why bother mixing foods together? Or cooking them in different ways? Or changing the nature of certain raw product? It may have seemed spectacularly unimportant at the time, but if that first person had never wondered "What would happen if..." we'd never have eaten chocolate. Or savory stew. Or even bread.

If the first painter had been too afraid of what people might think, they'd never have smeared a bunch of color on those stone walls. And we'd never have art. If the first singer had been too scared to make those funny sounds in front of people, we'd never have music.

Life is a gigantic helping of trial, filled with quite a lot of error. But without the error, we have no success.

As Gobo Fraggle says, we must "Catch a tail by the tiger! Take the horns by the bull!"

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