“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ “
Going back to the ship metaphor I wrote from Day 7 and the house metaphor from Day 10. Despite cliché, the “storms of life” metaphor works well because of its violence, its uncontrollability, its overwhelmingly destructive power; its unpredictable nature.
Imagine enduring the storm in the “world” you’ve built; some of you don’t really have to imagine. You’ve been there, you’ve held on, clinging to the wheel, your grip loosening and muscles burning as you fight to keep the ship right and move out of danger.
You see your world crumbling around you, the roof and walls cracking and shaking.
When you are face to face with the Darkness and see no way out.
It makes me wonder if Kipling had Paul the Apostle’s words from the New Testament book of Ephesians in mind. “Having done all to stand, stand…”
There is a reason we look up to real and mythological men who stand and “serve their turn”. Who, “having done all to stand”, continue to stand. It’s this ideal we strive towards. To have our mettle, our resolve, our Will and everything in us tested… and to pass. To be standing when the clouds part, the sun shines and the dust settles.
It reminds me of a quote from Mark Twain. The writers of the Marvel comic series (and movie of the same name), ‘Civil War’ series include it in there as something that Captain America says. And, who doesn’t force their heart, nerve and sinew to serve it’s turn long after their gone more than ‘Cap’!? Anywho, the full quote in the link is excellent but below is what I wanted to share with you, emphasis in bold/italics is mine:
“Let men label you as they may, if you alone of all the nation decide one way, and that way be the right way by your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country, hold up your head for you have nothing to be ashamed of.
It doesn’t matter what the press says.
It doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say.
It doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. Republics are founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe in. no matter the odds or consequences.
When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move. Your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth and tell the whole world:
“No, you move.”
I could go on, but I want to keep these short as promised, so I’ll say in closing:
Plant yourself; your roots driving deep in the soil.
And hold on.