Winning confirms the false belief that we all secretly hold – that we are somehow better, superior, and more deserving. As children we hold fantasies that there is something special about us – that a golden halo is always floating above our heads that others in the world should recognize. But until the innocence that preserves our ideas of grandiosity is destroyed, how can we evolve into mature human beings?
Being mature includes having proper empathy – seeing yourself as a citizen of the world and breaking the barriers that disconnect you from your follow man. Until one has given ALL they have to a challenge and still lost, one cannot truly understand that other fellow human beings are trapped in even worse circumstances that are beyond their ability to navigate. How can one appropriately be a member of the human community unless they can empathize with those in the human community with the greatest need?
Being mature includes being able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and developing and leveraging your abilities to overcome the broad range of challenges that will confront you as an individual, a family member, an employee, and as a citizen. Nothing develops abilities and forces one to be as honest about their capabilities as much as hardship and challenge. Until one has faced great hardship in their life – hardship that they doubt they will ever recover from – the full possible depth of their strength and skill set will remain undiscovered.
It is the job of the poet to capture the human spirit and remind us all of who/what we really are. Our life is a roller coaster that lulls us into believing that we are in control – and just when we least expect it this facade is exposed and our vulnerability revealed. This nakedness allows the poet to observe man without the pretense of refinement, stripping all falsehood and leaving only truth. The truth behind our sophistication is that we are sacred beings living uncertain lives that must be honored and cherished.
A poet uses his or her words to show truth, though there is little to do once truth is learned. The sometimes painful beautiful truth is simply meant to swell our hearts enough so that we hug our loved ones a moment longer, speak our truths a bit more calmly, cry our pains with slightly more acceptance, and go to bed at night with our minds more at peace. A successful poet connects his reader to all of humanity, and assures him or her that this uncertain human experience is exactly what it needs to be.
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1) You are fine. You didn’t get what you wanted – sure, but you’re still fine. You’re breathing. You’re alive. A million other things that make your life worth living are still around. You can still eat your favorite meal. Call a friend. Watch your favorite TV show. Go play your favorite sport. Read a good book. You didn’t get a specific thing that you wanted and worked hard for, but there are still a million golden gems in your life for you to enjoy right now.
2) Success was never the point. The only reason you failed is because you had a goal. The reason you had a goal was to drive you to learn, grow, and experience new things. Success is nice because it symbolizes you learned the necessary skills for a particular path. However, failure does not mean that you also did not develop talents that will serve you in your life. Additionally, persisting through and learning from failure is a key character-trait that all successful people must develop. Continue reading