When I was growing up I played sports. It didn’t matter the season, I enjoyed playing. I didn’t like sitting on the bench. I wanted to play. For me, engaging ins sports is a metaphor for life. If you want to enjoy the game, you have to participate. If you want to enjoy life, you have to participate. Sitting on the sidelines lets the game and life slip by. Before you know it, it’s all over. What have you got to lose? Join in the game. Participate.
I live in drought stricken Texas. We need rain. It will come. When it comes to Texas, it will come Texas style. We’ll get nearly a year’s average rainfall in a day or two. When the soaking rain comes, I’ll go out and dance in it. I’ll let it soak me through to the skin. Rain provides me with the metaphoric feeling of being cleansed of all the things weighing on my mind.
If you’re like me, you use your smart phone’s camera a lot. A camera can be a metaphor for life. When we use our smart phone camera we take selfies, photos of friends, and important moments. Like our camera, we can try to capture the good times, smiles, laughter, and joy. If things are not working out, we can stop, adjust, adapt, and change our focus to what is joyful, good, and makes us a better person.
Life is like a cup of tea. It’s all in how you make it. ~ Irish saying
The bird, let loose in Eastern skies,
When hastening fondly home,
Ne’er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies
Where idle warblers roam.
But high she shoots through air and light
Above all low delay,
Where nothing earthly bounds her flight,
Nor shadow dims her way.
So grant me, God, from every care,
And stain of passion free,
Aloft, through Virtue’s purer air,
To hold my course to Thee!
No sin to cloud—no lure to stay
My soul, as home she springs;—
Thy sunshine on her joyful way,
Thy freedom in her wings!
I saw the long line of the vacant shore
The sea-weed and the shells upon the sand,
And the brown rocks left bare on every hand,
As if the ebbing tide would flow no more,
Then heard I, more distinctly than before,
The ocean breathe and its great breast expand,
And hurrying came on the defenceless land
The insurgent waters with tumultuous roar.
All thought and feeling and desire, I said,
Love, laughter, and the exultant joy of song
Have ebbed from me forever! Suddenly o’er me
They swept again from their deep ocean bed
And in a tumult of delight, and strong
As youth, and beautiful as youth, upbore me.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Optimist’s Good Morning
Who climbs the mountain does not always climb.
The winding road slants downward many a time;
Yet each descent is higher than the last.
Has thy path fallen? That will soon be past.
Beyond the curve the way leads up and on.
Think not thy goal forever lost or gone.
Keep moving forward; if thine aim is right
Thou canst not miss the shining mountain height.
Who would attain to summits still and fair,
Must nerve himself through valleys of despair.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.
by Douglas Malloch
Life isn’t easy. Some days it takes heaps of courage just to get out of bed. If you’re having a tough day, you’re not alone. Every person who has lived, is living, or will live has rough, really rough moments. The attitude we take to life’s rough moments can make all the difference in how we work our way through them. The right attitude will transform tragedy’s into triumphs. The following short YouTube video presents a short story using metaphors to illustrate the importance of cultivating the right attitude.
I’ve always liked sports. I enjoyed the competition, comradery, and the discipline participation taught me. The athletes who participate in sporting events often offer great metaphors for us. In the following YouTube video, the athlete could have easily quit, no one would have noticed except her teammates. She could have given less than full effort. Instead, her 110% effort becomes our metaphor to never quit, no matter how dire the circumstances. The only time failure is certain is when we quit. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Give it all you’ve got.