"Never, never, never, never give up!"
Though first spoken during dire circumstances during WWII, when Britian was being bombed, that is a phrase that has stood me well over my own 72 years. Churchill spoke those words exaxctly 189 days before I was born.***
The largeness of war can be ominous. So can getting up and going again from a mistake, an opportunity missed, an accident or event of individual magnitude, not just of world consequence.
Kiddos we know fall while trying to learn to ride a bike. Scrap themselves. A little shaken. The encouragement? Get back on that bike and ride. You cAn do it!
Older teens want to learn to ride a horse. Fall off. Get bruised a bit. A bit of a fall from the top of a moving animal. The encouragement? Get back on that horse and ride. You cAn do it!!
Getting older, we drive our cars. Oops. Accident. Dang! Didn't see it coming. Shaken. The encouragement? Get back in the next car, soon, and drive. You cAn do it!!!
All this I was thinking about this past Monday when up, again, at Rocky Mountain National Park with another of the exceptional, full of honest promise, emerging leaders I've the privilege of mentoring. Remembering that Friday, past, June 27, my head still hurts a bit from the fall and slight concussion I got from a nasty tumble. But.......
The first place I took this good man, and needed to go myself, was back to the scene of the tumble. My blood was all washed off the rock that dented my head, due to good summer storms.
However, as I sat there waiting for my friend to finish a time of personal reflection and meditation at another small lake (for this wAs his day to explore and discover some of his future...), I sat there with gratitude for nothing worse having taking place.
Only 5 stitches. All those who took care of me in the Estes Park ER and later in the week to follow here at home, said, "You were fortunate. A half inch either direction and it might have been way more serious."
Yesterday? The time with this good man? One of the best ever times on a day journey through the park. Our conversations were timely, rich and deep. Ultimately we trekked over 9 miles. Truly humbling to encourage someone like this man to reach deep and move forward in his life.
For both of us, in the various arenas of our individual lives, Winston's words ring significantly true:
never, never, never, never give up.
Here we are at the beginning of the morning on the way up to Emerald Lake. Grateful, to the max for amazing moments together. Him taller. Me shorter.
We are both looking forward to many more moments on the mentoring journey. I'm confident the future times with him are going to be memorable, no matter the tumbles and progress that make up life.
***Churchill said this on October 29, 1941, when he visited Harrow School. It was after the Blitz and things were looking up a bit for Britain. Here is the relevant part of the speech: But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period -- I am addressing myself to the School -- surely from this period of ten months, this is the lesson: Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.