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Boo Hoo, I Fell

By Tamar Yonah
9/16/2010, 12:00 AM

When I was a young girl, I was kind of like a tom-boy.  I was rough and tough.  Played outside from morning till night, (except for watching Dark Shadows at 3pm). In the mid 70’s, I took auto mechanics and weight lifting as my P.E. class – this at the time before women did those kind of things.  There was me and one other ‘butch’ type girl in a class of about 25 smelly sweaty guys <grin>.  I earned their respect when I was able to squat 220 pounds – enough to join the men’s weight-lifting team of the high school,  and I benched 110 lbs which was pretty good for a girl back then.  Point is…. I moved forward, but had many skinned and scabby knees  throughout my years growing up.   If I had let the pain of my falls and scrapes and bumps stop me from moving forward, I would have stayed ‘safe’, but become a wimpy person with less character and unfilled potential, because I wouldn’t have pushed my boundaries further nor set higher and higher goals for myself.  I wanted to be tough, strong, and independent.  And that meant expecting falls along the way, but learning how to get up and move on.

 

My mother has always wondered at doting moms, who, when taking their kids to the play ground, would stand over them like a hawk guarding them from possibly getting hurt.  They would say, “Honey, don’t climb up that slide’s ladder, you might get hurt. “  Or, “Don’t climb the monkey bars too high, you might fall and then get hurt.”  My mother taught me that one shouldn’t always try to limit someone because they MIGHT fall, but instead, to teach them what to do IF they fall.  And that is, to teach them how to (try to) fall the correct way, and how to brush themselves off and get back up again. 

There’s an old story told about Thomas Edison, the man who received credit for inventing the light bulb. The story goes that he was known to have failed about a 1000 times before succeeding in creating a well working bulb.   And when asked about all his failures, he supposedly stated, “I haven’t failed a thousand times, I just successfully discovered a thousand ways how not to make it."

 

The Torah teaches us in story after story, how our great forefathers fell, and then got up and continued on.  This is one of the wonderful things about the Torah, never hiding the truth.  Our forefathers were human beings, designed to sometimes fall.  But what made them great, was their ability to correct their mistakes and forge forward.  All of Mankind has this ability.  It is programmed into us. 

As we develop, we sometimes skin our knees in this world.  It is not necessarily a punishment, rather a consequence of living life.   And if you are thinking, “I can’t, or it is too late, or, I am too scared, etc”, then just remember, BABY STEPS COUNT! Take it slowly if need be, but MOVE.  Baby steps really DO count!

What’s one of those favorite sayings that I love?  “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intentions of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, “Woo hoo, what a ride!”.  Please watch this very inspiring video that we all need to see and internalize to make our lives so much better.  It can remove the excess guilt that sometimes paralyzes us, telling us there is no hope, and thus stops us from becoming great and achieving our full potential that G-d gave us.

May we all be inscribed for a good year.

Shana tova!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Ouch!  I hurt my finger on the keyboard!) [wink]