Monday, April 15, 2013

When do you throw in the towel?

No matter what you are striving for in your life (and I'm assuming you're striving for something since you're, you know, not dead, and living things are not supposed to stagnate...wait, are you undead? Are you VOLDEMORT? ...anyway), there are going to be times where the deck seems stacked against you.

I imagine even people that accomplish everything they've ever wanted to accomplish continue burning and striving and pushing for more, because that's life, but that means that eventually there's going to be something they can't reach.

I've made a lot of mistakes. In particular, not attending college early seems an ugly million dollar mistake (probably literally). I mean, what's the point of high school anyway? Another babysitting service after elementary school and middle school? Whoo.

I continue to make mistakes. Recently (2007) choosing to major in mathematics (supposedly one of the top ten majors) seems to have been a mistake as without an actuarial certification, an engineering degree or a Ph.D., the degree is next to worthless (see my previous blog on being a college instructor for a hint of why)

There will always come a time when you're down and out. Not just down and out, but have been put down and kicked out and then when you felt it couldn't get any worse spat upon and told you're worthless and the thing(s) that you thought you did well and were special about you were in fact nonexistent at best and a loathsome sore most probably.

You could give up.
Which would mean stagnation.
Which is worse than death (in my opinion).

Or, and this is the ridiculous one that we all must choose, you could keep going. Keep striving and pushing for the best that you can be.

It will mean hardship, I'm sure. But really now, what's the alternative? Death? Stagnation?

I'll be honest folks, stagnation is probably a little more pathetic in my eyes. At least death has an excuse in that well, you died. What's the excuse for stagnation? What's the excuse for giving up?
You "didn't have the energy anymore"? You were "tired of failing"? You hate yourself or feel stupid or worthless? Better to have never tried than to have tried and failed?
...sounds like bullshit.

I am very fortunate in my family, both by blood and by love. I know that there will always be a subset of people in the world that, well, maybe not have my back, but at least are rooting for me.
There are some that don't even have that.

Even for those people, whose loneliness must be such that they can hardly breathe, what's the alternative?

We cannot stagnate. We must not die. We have to move forward. The towel can be dropped as we stumble and fall, but you have to pick it up again.

We can't give up.  
I can't give up. 
You can't give up.

So I'll keep striving. I won't stop. I'll continue forward and sideways and take a step backwards (or be pushed 25,000 steps backwards) if it means I'm going to keep working forwards.

We can do this.

Life. Learning. Pursuit of happiness.

Let's do this, and if we can't, then I hope I'll be alongside you at the pearly gates (or your afterlife of choice) saying that we've done everything we can and died striving.

When do you throw in the towel? You never throw in the towel.