Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC – 479 BC)
A very wise man, named Gary, posted this quote on his facebook page; and I fell in love with it. There are multiple ways to fall. My patients fall literally, bruising, breaking, and lacerating their bodies. Then there is falling in a figurative sense. My patients fall from grace by cheating, lying, or worse. They fall out of love. They fall off the wagon, off their diet. They fall for the wrong person. Falling is a human trait. Falling leads to suffering and misery. Getting up from a fall leads to recovery.
Confucius was right. What separates humans is not the act of falling, but the act of getting up, dusting yourself off and repairing the damage that leads to glory. Over the last 30 years, I have seen many of my patients fall and injure themselves. I have witnessed every type of a fall and some truly miraculous recoveries. After reading Gary’s post, I realized the people I admire the most are people who keep getting up no matter how they fall or how often they fall.
Gary’s post was very timely. As many of my readers know, I have started taking my own advice, eating properly, exercising and generally appreciating life. I want to warn you: The older you are the harder it is to get up after falling.
I fell off my diet and exercise routine over the last few months. Between the surgery, the Parkinson’s, and the depression accompanying the loss of my profession, I was attacked by the “too die for” foods of my past and I succumbed. I was having trouble returning to my healthy lifestyle until I read Gary’s post. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.” I’m up on my feet and back on the right path.
The next time you fall, get up as fast as you can. If you can’t get up on your own, call for help from a friend or family member. If you hurt yourself, get help. When you can’t admit you fell due to personal pride or shame, recognize we all fall at one time or another and the true glory is in getting up!
Confucius should have added an addendum. Once you are back on your feet, learn from your fall. Knowledge will protect you from the pitfalls of life. If you can’t stop falling, you may need a cane, walker, psychologist, or priest. Whatever the cause, get help!
Be happy, be healthy!