"All glory comes from daring to begin."
I used to include the above quote as part of my e-mail signature. So many times, I find that people, including myself, have a difficult time doing anything outside of their comfort zones. It is as if they are afraid of reaching their goals - afraid of the life changes and responsibility success will bring.
If you behave differently and do well, then you will have to decide whether to permanently change your habits so that you can continue to thrive or to revert to your simpler life, where you are not happy, but comfortable in your discomfort. You are afraid of change so you just stay stuck – not even attempting the change. Perhaps you do not want to try a new way for doing this or that because nothing has worked in the past. If you do not like where you are, keep moving. What do you have to lose? The clock continues to tick. Keep moving.
Sometimes you just have to commit to doing the thing you do not feel like doing because your mind and your heart know that it is the best thing for you. Sometimes you just have to begin.
Today, I learned that this quote was excerpted from a longer and very profound poem about the abolitionist, John Brown. I have included the poem here. John Brown fought for the end of slavery and helped others to fight. When I realized that daring to begin referred to daring to stand for freedom and human rights, even in the face of death, I realized that there was nothing I was trying to do that was nearly as serious. Whatever your personal resolutions may be, new or ongoing, just begin.
States are not great except as men may make them.
Men are not great except they do and dare.
But states, like men, have destinies that take them -
That bear them on, not knowing why or where.
The WHY repels the philosophic searcher
The WHY and WHERE all questionings defy,
Until we find, far back in youthful nurture,
Prophetic facts that constitute the WHY.
All merit comes in daring the unequal,
All glory comes from daring to begin.
Fame loves the State that, reckless of the sequel,
Fights long and well, though it may lose or win.
Than in our State, no illustration apter
Is seen or found of faith and hope and will.
Take up her story; every leaf and chapter
Contains a record that conveys a thrill.
And there is one whose faith, whose fight, whose failing,
Fame yet shall placard on the walls of time.
He dared begin - despite the unavailing,
He dared begin, when failure was a crime.
When over Africa some future cycle
Shall sweep the lake-gemmed uplands with its surge;
When as with trumpet of Archangel Michael
Culture shall bid a colored race emerge;
When busy cities there, in constellations,
Shall gleam with spires and palaces and domes -
With marts wherein is heard the noise of nations -
With summer groves surrounding stately homes -
There future orators to cultured freemen
Shall tell of valor, and recount with praise
Stories of Kansas and of Lacedæmon,
Cradles of freedom, then of ancient days.
From boulevards o'erlooking both Nyanzas,
The statued bronze shall glitter in the sun,
With rugged lettering:
"JOHN BROWN, OF KANSAS:
HE DARED BEGIN;
HE LOST - BUT, LOSING, WON."
Rhymes of Ironquill , Eugene Ware (Topeka: Crane & Co. 1895)
Welcome! My name is Rachel Moody. I post weekly announcements and messages to motivate and inspire my UAlbany advisees, and any one else who visits. Comments are welcome! While you are here, have a virtual cup of tea!
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