Thursday, March 5, 2015

Falling or Flying

"What if I fall?"
"Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?"
~Erin Hanson

One of my favorite quotes.

Because you have to fall. Everyone has to fall. I've fallen more often than I can count. Off of horses; thrown, fallen on, flipped over, etc. at least 35 times. I've also fallen over my own feet, or the proverbial fall when things just go horribly wrong in life for awhile.

I recently read a blog about kids today not knowing how to fall and get back up, no matter what the reason is. If they fall they give up because it's too hard, too embarrassing or simply not worth the effort.

That may be more true today but I think our parents said that about our generation, and their parents about them.

To me it's more about personality. I look at my three kids, all raised the same, and two are die hard who will "get back up no matter what" kind of people from early on in life. But one, from the time he was little, would quickly give up if the smallest thing didn't go his way. It's just his personality. It's not that he isn't brave, smart or often determined, he just needs more encouragement and prodding when things get tough.

It was recently the great George Morris's birthday (the patriarch of Hunter/Jumper riding) and one of his famous quotes is: "You either go to the hospital or you get back or on!"

My first time on a horse I was five. They put my tiny self up on that big saddle and my mom tried to sit behind me. The horse was not crazy about that and threw us both. I flew pretty far being a pipsqueak (so flying and falling) and, I'm told, maybe had a mild concussion. But a few years later all I would talk about was riding lessons.

And it is like flying, jumping around large obstacles on a 1000 pound animal with a mind of it's own. So falling on occasion is inevitable. You can be done after that first fall or you can dust yourself off and keep riding.

You can say the same after your first car accident, loss of a job, loss of a loved one or failed relationship. You can decide never to drive again, never love, find a job below your ability to be safe. Or you can take a deep breath, dust yourself off, and get back on the horse.

That is if you don't have to go to the hospital first.

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
~Nelson Mandela

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