Friday, February 10, 2006

Am I Pessimistic or Pragmatic?

***
“Come to the edge.”

“We can't. We're afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can't. We will fall!”
“Come to the edge.”
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.
***
- Guillaume Apollinaire, 1880-1918
French Poet, Philosopher

A few days ago, I read this on my friend's blog and found it poetically inspiring, and how pushing one to their limits can help one to soar, in whichever arena. Last night when I was in a sucky mood, this quote came to mind again but this time, I saw the reality behind it. How many birds fly and how many birds die when they are pushed off the cliff? Flashing across my mind were motion pictures of fluffy grey chicks learning how to fly by jumping off the cliff. Usually, none of them manage to lift off at once. They'll kinda bump off the cliff, struggle and flap their wings, bump bump bump again, then finally take off...while others less fortunate siblings of theirs will just bump bump bump all the way to the bottom of the cliff. If so happens they survive the fall coz they are so soft and fluffy, they attempt suicide again by jumping off the cliff, untill they manage to fly. Then the video pans down to a few dead bloodied chicks at the bottom of the cliff. Reality of life isn't it? Only the strong and the best and the persistant survive. Even if the chicks don't die from falling off the cliff repeatedly, if they don't learn how to fly, they'll starve to death because their mothers will leave them after a certain age.

I'm terrible am I not? Taking such a nice and poetic inspirational quote and infusing so much reality into it. Haha...FYI, I don't do it on purpose.

I still try to use this one to motivate myself though...

When a goal matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to accomplish what at first seemed impossible.
- Nido Qubein

I do hope the practical me doesn't destroy this quote for myself.

Another similar one is

You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.
- Abraham Lincoln

I think this singleness of purpose part is very hard to keep to, especially when there are alot of dsitractions. And I wonder if someone actually manages to hold on to it, and then accomplishes something, will he look back and wonder if his life would have been more exciting if he did not just concern himself with that one goal? Plus, I think Lincoln is assuming that nurture can exceed nature. haha. =p

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