December 29, 2010

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." Winston Churchill

"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."
 George Bernard Shaw

This is the kind of post that I normally would write at night. There is something about the midnight hour that lends itself to quiet introspection, but given the circumstances I am writing it now. Writing it now because I can't keep living on three hours of sleep. Writing it now because for far too long I have been driving myself into the ground. Writing it now because even the mightiest warrior requires rest.

Yes, it is another post where I talk about my unwillingness to give up or give in. There are a host of reasons why I am who I am. Blame it on genetics, socialization and choice. Yes, choice is listed there because much of my life is based upon the choices I have made.

This is a frequent conversation with my children, choice that is. We talk about taking responsibility for our actions and how we have a tremendous amount of influence on our lives. It is something that I fervently believe in. Yet it is also fair to say that I have come to acknowledge that there are many things that are outside of our control. Life happens and all you can do is roll with the punches.

People do not make decision based upon logic or rational thought. They say that they do, but more frequently than not they make their choices arbitrarily. How many times have you glanced at someone and made a decision about who they are based upon their clothes or shape. It is not profound nor insightful to say that we give a break to someone we find attractive versus someone we do not.

In my life I know that I have made choices in that manner. I know that having watched Rocky and similar movies has helped to fuel my never give up, never surrender attitude. If he can find a way to will himself to victory, when then so can I. And I have. On more than one occasion success came because I didn't quit.

And I love the silent, brooding characters too. Casablanca speaks to me. There are so many scenes that stick out, but for the purpose of this post I'll grab quotes and clips for two. When Ilsa and Rick see each other again- that look they exchange speaks volumes. Not to mention the end of the movie, talk about powerful. I can't tell you how many times I have watched that or wondered about this exchange.

Was he truly strong enough to just let her go or was it just him trying to be noble. Did they go on to lead happy and fulfilled lives or in the silence of the night did they pine away for that one special person. So many questions and so few answers.

It ties into the whole never give up, never surrender thing to me. It does so because though I firmly believe in the concept, I don't think that we can use it for every situation. It is important to stand and fight for what you believe in, but you also need to recognize what battles aren't worth fighting.

You can take Groucho's comment and laugh,  "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Or you can view it from a different perspective and ask if the principles you are defending merit such a vigorous fight. The beauty of life is that it is not always a yes or no answer. So many of these things are subjective.

The one thing I am certain of is that you have to be comfortable with your decisions and your choices. When the lights go out at night you have to be able to sleep. If you can't you better hope it is because someone is snoring or a marching band is practicing outside because there is no escape from your self and your conscience.

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