Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Race

Successful methods of motivation and the behavior that it inspires are as varied as the personalities we all possess. But there are some lessons that seem to have a universal inspirational affect.

Of all the stories I've read, and I've real a lot, "The Race" by D.H. Groberg, has made an indelible impact. It teaches us one of life's greatest lessons.

They all lined up so full of hope,
each thought to win the race,
Or tie for first, or if not that,
at least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side,
each cheering for his son;
And each boy hoped to show his dad
that he would be the one.

The whistle blew, and off they went,
young hearts and hopes afire,
To win, to be the hero there
was each young boy's desire.

And one boy in particular
whose dad was in the crowd,
Was running in the lead and thought,
my dad will be so proud.

But as they sped down the field
across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win,
lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself,
his hands flew out in brace,
and mid the laughter of the crowd,
he fell flat on his face.

So down he fell and with him hope,
he couldn't win, not now;
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up,
and showed his anxious face;
Which to the boy so clearly said;
get up and win the race.

He quickly rose, no damage done,
behind a bit, that's all;
And ran with all his might and mind
to make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself,
to catch up, to win.
His mind went faster than his legs,
he slipped and fell again.

He wished then he had quit before,
with only one disgrace;
I'm hopeless as a runner now,
I shouldn't try to race.

But in the laughing crowd he searched,
and found his father's face,
That steady look that said again,
get up and win the race.

So up he jumped to try again,
ten yards behind the last;
If I'm going to gain those yards
I've gotta move real fast.

Exerting everything he had,
he regained eight or ten;
But trying so hard to catch the lead
he slipped and fell again.

Defeat; he lay there silently,
a tear dropped from his eye;
There's no sense in running anymore
three strikes I'm out, why try.

The will to rise had disappeared
all hope had fled away;
So far behind, so error prone
I'll never go all the way.

I've lost - so what's the use he thought,
I'll live with my disgrace;
But then he thought about his dad
who soon he'd have to face.

Get up - an echo sounded low,
get up and take your place;
you were not meant for failure here,
get up and win the race.

With borrowed will, get up, it said,
you haven't lost at all;
For winning is no more than this,
to rise each time you fall.

So up he rose to run once more,
and new commit;
He resolved that win or lose the race,
at least he wouldn't quit.

Three times he'd fallen, stumbling,
three times he rose again;
Now he gave it all he had,
and ran as though to win.

They cheered the winning runner
as he crossed the finish line first place;
Head high and proud and happy,
no failing, no falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster
crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer,
for finishing the race.

And even though he came in last
with head bowed low unproud,
You would have thought he won the race
to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad, he sadly said,
I didn't do so well;
To me you won, his father said,
for you rose each time you fell.

And now when things seem dark
and hard and different to face,
the memory of that little boy
helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race
with ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win,
Is rise each time you fall.

So, each time you trip and fall,
"Get Up and Win That Race"

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