“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome”
Each day, when you wake up in the morning, there are hundreds of reasons to quit.
Right then and there.
"It's too cold out and the bed is too comfy".
"I didn't get enough sleep".
"My job sucks and the boss is an arsehole".
"Just not feelin' it today".
"My car won't start".
"No one else cares, why should I"?
"The dog needs to go for a walk".
"I've got a headache/cold/flu".
This list could be endless, however, the current Media Induced Pandemic (MIP) over the H1N1 virus seems to have catapulted a new reason to the very top of that list. As if there aren't enough excuses for a lack of personal productivity, H1N1 just might emerge as the all-time leader, giving people and organizations a reason to fold like a lawn chair.
We know society is sick right now.
Perhaps, in more ways than one.
Today, we focus on the kind of disease no needle, serum or vaccine can cure.
The current Media Induced Pandemic has triggered skyrocketing absenteeism rates in schools and companies. Even teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League have succumbed to this panic, cancelling recent games for a lack of players. This from a sport which honors virtues of teamwork, toughness and tenacity.
Is H1N1 also eroding the fabric of a nation and the values of self-reliance, initiative and courage? Will an increase in the "whine flu" prove to be the real damage from H1N1?
Here is how Rick Mercer weighs in on the subject.
Unless we are completely off base, aren't there scores of other people and teams that had every reason to quit ... but didn't?
For starters, a short list would include:
- Terry Fox
- Erin Brockovich
- Nelson Mandela
- Team Canada 1972
- Winston Churchill
- Nick Vujicic
- Anne Frank
- James J. Braddock
- Oprah Winfrey
- Mario Lemieux
- Zig Ziglar
- Viktor Frankl
- Rocky Balboa
- Shun Fujimoto
- Rick Allen
- Helen Keller
- Arthur Ashe
- 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team
- Sean Collins
- Lance Armstrong
- Mother Teresa
- Dwight White
- Ayn Rand
- Rudy Ruettiger
- Cora Tsouflidous
- Harland Sanders
- W. Mitchell
- Christopher Reeve
- Tank Man of Tiananmen Square
- Bathurst High Phantoms
- Leigh Anne Tuohy
- Michael Oher
Few, for example, would have blamed the Bathurst High Phantoms basketball team for taking a knee or an entire year off after a tragic accident that killed 7 players. Displaying unusual grit far from evident through the H1N1 panic, the Phantoms overcame cataclysmic adversity and won a provincial championship the following season.
Michael Oher (pronounced "oar") also had every reason to quit.
And so did Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Oher is one of 13 siblings from a poverty-stricken family, from the poorest part of the mean streets of Memphis. Michael never knew his father, who he later discovered, had been murdered. His mother was and still is, a crack addict.
Leigh Anne is the privileged daughter from a wealthy family, who saw something in Michael ... and took a chance.
Smooth seas have never made for skillful sailors.
Only when adversity sucks wind out of your sails, do you learn how to row with the oars you have. You'll never find a better sparring partner than adversity; an opponent that causes some to break and others to break records.
Courage manifests in many different forms.
It will test you either physically, intellectually or morally. As someone who aced all three tests with flying colors, Winston Churchill once advised, "If you're going through hell, keep going".
Unless you have a real reason to quit.
"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanantly if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about hard hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done"
p.s... "The Blind Side" is in theatres this week.
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