Wednesday, November 18

The Race is Not to the Swift!

I don’t know if you are like me but I relish watching movies over and over. So, in watching the movie Rocky yet again, I learned yet another valuable (click here) lesson from my favourite; Part 2.

Quick recap: Apollo Creed, portrayed by Carl Weathers (who found and fought Rocky - Sylvester Stallone - to prove a point in part 1) insisted on a rematch because of criticisms from fans, and the fact that he won on a split decision (when 2 of 3 judges rule in favour of one fighter while the third judge rules in favour of the other) – something that had never happened to the world champion before. And so the rematch began, with Rocky giving as much as he got. It quickly became apparent to Apollo that Rocky was not goingto 'go down' and that this fight may not go as he expected. Finally in round 15, after fighting hard and dirty,  the force of the last punch that Rocky gave Apollo also propelled him onto the floor of ring even as Apollo went down. And so both began to struggle to stand as the referee began to count…Apollo made a very good head start only to crumble at last moment while Rocky rose unsteadily to his feet and across the ring.

This time around, this is not about Rocky and Apollo. But about us and how we handle our apollos. We are quietly minding our business, but then the challenges (or challengers like Apollo) show up to disrupt our world. Just ask Job in the bible. We grapple daily with so many things we can’t even talk about; at home, at work, things we want but can’t have, things we believe we deserve but are denied us, discontent that we can’t articulate, failing businesses. How about being heartbroken because the world seem to be falling apart? The list goes on and on. And being so pummeled all we really want to do is curl up in defeat and die. But we are meant to hold on because ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel!’ The determination of a Rocky can help us push up and out of any ‘Apollotic’ Pit which we may have found ourselves. Rocky is described (by one of the commentators at the fight) as a ‘man of limited mental capacity’ Compared to Apollo (actually there is no basis for comparison) he was nothing but he got the upper hand! That right there is the point that needed to be made: that ‘the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong.’

Another lesson for me is that no matter how much people hurt us we should take it in our stride, forgive, walk away, be the bigger person (that is painful to say because it is not easy to do). Rocky actually thanked Apollo for fighting him. If he hadn't sought Rocky out, the latter would have remained a nobody, an unknown.

Life is hard. It is a fact. But the picture of Rocky and Apollo falling is etched in my memory; a reminder that no matter how long and hard the fight, when we are both down and before the count of 10, I plan to be the one standing. Its a mind thing.

 Be free oh. 

Monday, September 14

No Glasses on, I Suppose?

You know how we mostly struggle to embrace or accept 'the new,' or the fact that something is (dares to be) different? How we stubbornly refuse to accept change even if it is the natural progression in a situation? And the way we struggle! One would think those issues were life-threatening. In BBM-speak: smh.

‘No glasses on, I suppose?’ This was the response a dear friend sent me after I completely mutilated the English language in a text I sent to him. I had been doing that - writing bad grammar in text messages - for a while then. Thank God for the retract function on BBM!

But what is responsible for this? Two things, I believed: I got new reading glasses, and I changed my phone. To a touch screen. And I just could not deal with the touch-y thing! So I blamed the phone for the bad grammar. I did not think to blame my impatience to hit the ‘send’ button without editing but, that was because it is the entire text that gets mangled! That cannot be a coincidence. I also did not consider the fact that I may not be seeing the tiny characters as clearly as I should. And, I conveniently forgot that my eyesight isn't exactly 20/20; I had used reading glasses briefly last year (a fact I hid from most people), but I lost them and I moved on. 

I realized that there was problem when sometimes last year a document I used to read effortlessly in the office suddenly seemed different. I started to question why it was necessary for the font to be that tiny. So, I went back to the ophthalmologist who (of course) recommended glasses again. But because I was in self-denial, all I did with my glasses was read that particularly troublesome document. It never occurred to me to have them on when I used my phone, or read anything else, I just squinted away instead! It therefore came as a shock to be asked why I didn't have my glasses on while I was texting. That brought me up short and I thought in wonder, this is a new season in my life. Here is change. I am aging, omg! 

So I woke up to the realization that this is now a part of my life that I must embrace. Although I still struggle, not wanting to have them on to read everything so that I don't get used to them, I have come to terms with the fact that this is a necessary development that I should (must) accept. And so I did; with grace and aplomb (the fact that they do look cool and snazzy is not lost on me though, lol). And I have come to appreciate how easy they are on my eyesight. Needless to say, texting is better…all I need is a bit more patience not to hit the ‘send’ button too fast. And the strain on my eyes have eased.

I wonder what sort of season you should (ought to) be coming to terms with. I wonder what 'glasses' you should have on that you shy away from...we should learn to simplify life, it being so short... 

Be free oh.