We all fall down

In the great movie “The Lion in Winter”, Richard and his brothers Geoffrey and John are waiting to be executed by their father, King Henry II of England.

Richard says, “He won’t get any satisfaction out of me. He won’t see me beg.”

To which Geoffrey replies, “You chivalric fool! As if the way one fell down mattered.”

Richard offers a brilliant answer: “When the fall is all there is, it matters.”

We do spend an awful lot of time passively presuming we’ll live forever. We build an intricate web of routines, most of them nothing more than bad habits and rituals meant to shield us from stress and suffering. We fight change. We fear the uncertainty that lies outside our comfort zones.

But we do fall. Sooner or later, we all fall. We all fail at something. There’s got to be something that goes wrong.

It’s just life. It’s just the chaos of being alive.

But what do you do then?

When your life falls apart, when you lose everything.

Do you crawl and start crying? Do you huddle in a corner? Hide under your bed? Or do you start swinging? Start fighting to get back up, to get back on your feet?


4 thoughts on “We all fall down

  1. Brilliant.
    I knew an old priest who had spent some time as a guest of the Nazi’s in Dachau Prison. He told me once that what got him through it was the certainty that he was going to die. So he spent everyday like it was last, praising God for the time he had lived, and those he had touched.
    Years later when I lived in Germany, I visited the site. I saw and old man leading a tour of children through, and I kind of fell in with them. After a bit, it was plain to see he’d been incarcerated there also. And suddenly he’s talking about a priest who shared the barracks he was in. And he told them that the priest was always thankful for his life, and for being there for everyone around him.
    He said he did remember the priest lived through the ordeal, and that the only reason he himself made it was the hope and love this one man shared.
    Now there’s something to chisel on a tombstone.


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