Choir Notes

From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4350

You don’t have to travel far down the path of life to realize that it’s full of stumbling blocks. Avoiding them is an important skill, but perhaps even more important is the ability to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep going after we’ve stumbled—and we all do from time to time. In the words of Confucius, "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”1
He was describing resilience, the ability to rebound from disappointment, to work through adversity with courage and patience, refusing to give up or give in. It’s easy to keep moving forward along the path’s smooth patches, but if the whole path were that way, how would we ever learn to be resilient? How would we discover how much inner strength we have if we never had to bounce back after a difficulty, move forward through times of heartache and pressure, or stay strong in moments of gloom and discouragement? Resilience reveals something about our character—and it can empower us to become even better, wiser, and stronger.
There are examples everywhere, large and small, of people who keep going despite setbacks: the athlete who keeps competing despite a less-than-stellar season, the job seeker who keeps his head up in the face of rejection, the student who keeps studying hard even after receiving a bad grade, the soloist who struggles in a recital but keeps practicing and shows up at the next one, the couple who remain committed to strengthening their marriage notwithstanding the ups and downs of life. They all bounce back, keep going, and keep trying even when, at times, they think they can’t.
Perhaps the words of Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh are words we each need to hear from time to time: "Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”2 So no matter the setback, keep going. It may surprise you to discover how brave, strong, and smart you really are.

1 In Tryon Edwards, comp., A Dictionary of Thoughts (1891), 149.

2 Carter Crocker and Karl Geurs, Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (1997).

No comments:

Christmas Countdown