Monday, February 25, 2013

An Essential Motto to Live By

My dad the reptile, or more specifically the tortoise, is a pretty wise little guy. He told me once, after I came home terrified from a nasty encounter with a mean creature at school, that there was an essential rule to life by. I thought that it was pretty profound and damned brilliant, so I want to share it with you here.

Each day, be less afraid than you were the day before. Each week, be less fearful than the week before. Each month and year and decade, be more brazen than the time before. Forgive yourself when you fail, because fear is basic to every creature on earth, and you’ll never be completely free of it. Ninety nine times out of a hundred- a stick in the grass is just a stick - but one time, it’s a rattlesnake ready to strike.”

You see, dad the tortoise was born with a major league fear factor and a lightening quick withdrawal reflex. So he’s had to practice this motto of his very diligently. And as far as I can tell –except when mom the tiger confronts him about one of his idiot-syncracies (as she calls them) – he’s a pretty serene and cool about life.

I fail the fear test often and have to forgive myself about my anxieties at least once a week. But I keep pushing my limits of tolerance and keep taking risks. So I’m getting better. Bravo, bravo to me, and to you as well for trying to live gracefully in this sometimes cruel and insensitive world.

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