Wednesday, 11 February 2015

L-I-F-E, Not a Competition OR Achievement, Personal Best

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

There is no shame in coming last in whatever so long as we give it our best shot. In my experience, we are often inclined to let the past hold us back to such an extent that we deny our future much of its potential. Childhood hang-ups, failed relationships, being made to feel we are a disappointment to someone whose opinion matters to us…; such issues are never easy to shrug off even as we grow older and (supposedly) wiser.

Life isn’t - or shouldn’t be - a competition. It’s not all about winners and losers. For a start, we’re not all playing the same game even, let alone running the same race. Everyone is different and wants different things from life and that’s how it should be. Even so, we must not - nor should not - live in the past, however tempting sometimes that may be. Besides, we all deserve a decent future even if it doesn't always work out quite as we would have wished.

Body, mind and spirit deserve that we put them first even if it means trailing last in more judgemental eyes (that rarely if ever see a wood for its trees anyway...)

 As I have said before on the blogs - and almost certainly will again - our differences don't make us different only human and we all need to respect that. At the same time, as a teacher of mine used to say, respect doesn't come free but has to be earned. Perhaps if more of us set about earning respect for our differences instead of dragging them into disrepute by employing dubious one upmanship tactics, different people with different perspectives on a common humanity might yet find common ground, even discover that living in peace with one another doesn't have to be an impossible dream...?

This poem is a villanelle.

 L-I-F-E, NOT A COMPETITION or ACHIEVEMENT, PERSONAL BEST

Judge not the present by its past,
let time fly by
crying, ‘Foul!’ (trailing last)

Beware memory’s fair blast
make us cry;
judge not the present by its past,

Let not life travel light and fast,
pass us by
crying, ‘Foul!’ (trailing last)

Hope, its colours at half mast
each day we die;
judge not the present by its past

Come dawn, let’s feed not fast,
or look it in the eye
crying, ‘Foul!’ (trailing last)

To life, let love a lifeline cast
(if not always at first try);
judge not the present by its past
crying, ‘Foul!’ (trailing last)

Copyright R. N. Taber 2008; 2015

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