The measure of our greatness is in how we stand up after we fall


I have a favourite quotation, though I’m afraid I don’t know where it came from but it goes like this:
The measure of our greatness is in how we stand up after we fall.

I think of this so often, bore people to death with it, prod my patients and students with it and recite it out loud whenever I feel that I’ve stumbled in life. It usually ends then with – So stand up, Brenda! Come on. Stand up!

So I try to see not only the greatness and beauty, but the magnificence in everybody. But of seeing EVERYONE as amazing and magnificent, can sometimes be a challenge. Then I think that in all the best stories there must be an antagonist…  He or she is not only as important as everyone else, but is actually essential. It’s their job to test, taunt, befuddle and obstruct the hero and often demonstrate how NOT to behave; what NOT to do… Indeed the hero can never find himself in fully his magnificence unless there’s someone who makes him think, makes him grow, makes him finally stand up in power and integrity for what’s right – for the truth. It’s the antagonist who helps shape the hero and prompts him to do and be more than he ever thought he could at the beginning of the story.

Much of our learning is stimulated by painful things, but for me, equally if not more important, is that there is so much light we often don’t see if we’re focussed on the dark and the pain. Sometimes it’s hard not to do that since the pain seems to envelop us and drag us down, but, if we can just look up there’s amazing gifts all around us. And since it’s a fact that what we focus on increases, ideally we can keep ourselves afloat even in the hard times

Each of us is the hero in our own life story. And somewhere along our path we will come across our antagonist – or many. These are people who have agreed to play the awful roles. They’re the person in the film that everyone hates… But it’s important that we don’t hate, otherwise we get dragged out of our hero role and start to behave just like them – hating, judging, being aggressive, divisive and more.

We don’t need to do that! 

Let’s stand in what we know to be right and refuse to abuse even those who abuse us. Let us demonstrate every day a better way to live; a more loving way to live; a peaceful way to live. Those who are behaving badly need our love even more than the rest! They even deserve our gratitude because they were willing to take this awful part in order to prompt us to stand up!  But also, they have already more than enough hate, negativity, anger that fuels them to behave as they do. And that’s usually because they themselves have been badly hurt. So, let’s not add more!

So, amazingly powerful magnificent loving peaceful people, let us keep moving forward. Only then can we turn the tide.

Have a great day!

Much love