There is a lot to learn from the poor just as we learn from the rich. Often times the focus is on getting rich that the ways and lifestyle of the rich becomes a scripture, the only copy-able template for motivation. I try at best to do it differently and the difference makes me see far beyond the scope of the ordinary writer or speaker. As we have established previously, we are all at war, every man dealing with certain seemingly unsurmountable woes and pressures but I reckon it is way easier to tackle those life issues in the comfort of riches than in the abjectness of poverty.
My twin brother always said ‘there is a certain confidence that comes with having your own money, you almost feel invincible’. Now I believe him. I have lived on the wavelength of plenty, paucity and scarcity and I know enough what the latter two does to your confidence, outlook and ability to even move at all.
A woman I know works the most arduous job around here, sand mining from a flowing river. The river is inaccessible, the path to the trucks is slippery, steep and treacherous and is infested with a variety of snakes which increases the odds by a staggering percentage. Help is at least 5 kilometers away should you get bitten. She works the job regardless and for around $3 a day. She has a family to feed, loans to offset and a flurry of things that she requires money to tend to. Many times she goes to work and comes back early, disappointed and with nothing. A heavy rain makes the river inaccessible to the miners, inaccessible to the tippers, hence, no job. On other days, there is no demand for the sand, hence, no demand for her services. (To come back to this).
Yesterday, I stumbled on the most profound, most precise definitions for courage. You see, I have been trying to place it. I admire the tenacity of human beings, especially the hustlers, masons and toilers. Many times we fail, receive a rejection(s), get disappointed or cheated and we retire, quit and never try again, but these lot, there’s just no limit to what they take just to make a living.
How do you define courage?
The ability to do something difficult or scary// stepping outside of your comfort zone// sharing your ideas, speaking up or showing up// standing firm in your beliefs and values// and my personal favorite and most profound, getting out of bed on some hard-dark days.
You see, for me, these definitions are just perfect. Not the dictionary definition, but the most personified, relatable, real life definitions of courage. Living, loving, trusting and dealing are all scary. it takes a great deal amount of courage to do it. It takes a lot to step out of one’s comfort zone, to trust, give your being and your heart to another or to entrust your valuables in deals to someone else and/or share your ideas. In a world reinforced with norms, cultures and religion, it takes immense courage to stand fast in your beliefs and personal values. It is little wonder too many people do not have minds of their own.
I must pause here to ask a question.
How does one get out of bed the day after heartbreak, disappointment, failure, set-back, sleeping on empty stomach and with dashed hopes with no prospect in sight?
Recall that; “it is way easier to tackle those life issues in the comfort of riches than in the abjectness of poverty”. I stay in an environment predominantly inhabited by those living below par. Yes there are a few average people, but you can count them with your fingers. You see, on the standard of living, this woman counts as the poorest of the poor around here. There are lots of them around here, barely living. These lot deal with these heartbreaks, disappointments, failures, set-backs, sleeping on empty stomach and with dashed hopes with no prospects, no victory in sight on a daily basis. This is how I convince myself on those hard-dark days to get off my sorry ass and out of my pity party to continue the grind. While many see failures and castaways, I see heroes, fighters and encouragement to keep on my grind, to persist. If they can do it, I can do it.
If courage is getting out of bed on those hard dark days? I guess that girl or guy that strived to go out after a heartbreak is braveheart. The jobless guy after several disappointments and many years of wait is lionheart. That artist that will not quit even after countless rejection mails is a spartan at heart. I guess you reading this day in day out, in spite of your woes and travails and losses, you are the courageous capeless hero we all look up to.
Every morning, I meet the scrawny hero on my way to my place of business. Till date, she still cannot understand why I greet her with the utmost sense of respect and the biggest smile I can afford. I hope one day, I will find the words to tell her how much I admire her courage, persistence and tenacity and how big an influence she is to me and maybe get the breakthrough I so desire that I can help her do better.
Here’s to the lesson in courage, your polished strength and decision to try again and go harder. Here’s to the little motivation from reading this and to a writer trying, persisting and hoping to make a difference. Here’s to change. Remember if you do not change something, nothing will change. Cheers.