Thursday 11 July 2013

Triumph and Disaster - guest post by Colin Pearce

I value getting the Kick in the Pants newsletter from my friend Colin Pearce.
Sometimes it’s painful!

Here’s Colin’s latest.

Allow me a verse of Rudyard Kipling's poem, 'If'. 

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;


You'll be a man, my son.

Print it and keep it with you to read when things upset you next - say in five minutes' time.

Just last week

A friend offered a PR interview to a newspaper employee whose job is to make up enough words to fill his column's worth each week.
(Some people call people like this 'journalists' but it's a term as questionable as some of the things some of them write.)
The article reflected nothing like the tenor of the interview and distorted my friend's entire intent and gave him the wobbles for a week.

Unfair stuff happens to all of us

I've had work colleagues who found me a bit unusual (imagine that!) and thought it a good idea to exaggerate their impressions to other team members.
That set me back in relationships with newcomers.
I've had students in my higher education classes do the same thing and make it hard to start the next semester because of the gossip from the last.
I've had audience members and paying clients get the snots over something I've said or done.
Because of three snippy people who hold some sort of power over the boss's ear, I've had to give the money back.
Only  three times in thirty years mind you, but it still gave me the 'irrits'.

Fair stuff happens to all of us too

Triumph and disaster are both imposters. 
They both pretend to be permanent conditions—our life's definers.

Triumph in one battle, one game, one deal, even two, three or ten championships, does not render a person permanently triumphant.
How many champion footballers, tennis players, track athletes, not to mention cyclists, have you seen triumphant in a race only to be in court for drug or alcohol abuse later.

And disaster! What a boaster—a wind bag.
She tells you the car crash, the fire, the flood, the death of a loved one, the demise of a business is a life stopper.
She whispers insidious untruths,
'You blew it.'
'Your future is ruined.'
'You'll never stand in front of a crowd and hear thunderous applause again.' 
'Now what are you going to do?'

Yet how many times have you seen people lose their home in a bushfire, lose their legs in a bombing, come back smiling loving and being an even better person than they were?

My Kick in the Pants for you: Life is nether fair nor unfair. A sane response to stuff—good or bad stuff—is the only thing over which you have any control.

Be the difference you want to see in the world

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