Taking a fall
December 15, 2008
One of the secrets of life is knowing how to take a fall. Physical, financial or emotional.
When you drop something, it breaks. Be it a bank, a bone, or a heart.
I’ve experienced all three kinds of falls. They all take a while to get over. My usual reaction is to roll… and keep rolling till I can see daylight. This method to get beyond trouble is not unique to me. Cattle feeders have as many lives as Geraldo Rivera. They crash and burn over and over, and are miraculously reborn, acting as if nothing ever happened! They are like the Chicago Cubs at the beginning of each season. The slate is clean, their memories erased and it’s Batter Up!
I’ve bought twice as many wedding rings as I’ve been married. To my good fortune I just kept rolling till the best one finally caught me and put me back on my feet.
I have a dear friend who contracted Parkinson’s disease in his forties, twenty years ago. The battle he and his family fight continues to this day. They struggle and fall and keep rolling. And every single hour of every single day that they get their head above water is worth more than any World Series ring, Academy Award, or $700 billion dollar bail out.
It is this human spirit of resilience that makes regular folks into heroes. Single mothers working two jobs. Local bankers in tight money times extending loyal farmers seed money to keep them rolling. Teachers, firemen, doctors, deputies putting in unpaid extra hours to make our lives better. Volunteers whose immeasurable contributions allow hospices, museums, county fairs and colleges to keep communities functioning.
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It was surprising to me that when the American economy stumbled and fell in October, most of the rest of the world’s economies tumbled like dominos. Now they are scrabbling around like we are, trying to find their footing. Some of the global nations may have taken secret pleasure in our misery, our come-uppence. Our fall was humbling. But now the realization of their dependence on us is humbling for them. Now one has any doubt that the United States carries the world’s economy on its shoulders.
The shoulders of each American; you and me, and each of us who gets up everyday, goes to work, pay our taxes, takes care of those around us, unselfishly contributes our time and money, and keeps the faith… in God and country and each other.
We are taking this fall together and all we can do is keep rolling till we see daylight. And a year from now the world will be a better place.