“If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.” – Latin Proverb
Very few of us were born with a luck gene. A luck gene that will make us win the lottery, find the spouse of our dreams, have the best boss ever, and have an incredibly fit body at the age of 65. That is the wind. The wind is the luck, and in my opinion, it is a pretty bankrupt concept. It is the probability in your favor for fifteen minutes until something goes wrong: You get in a car accident, you get a disabling cold when you wanted to go out with your friends this weekend, or your daughter’s goldfish dies. That is when you break out the oars to propel yourself further on the path. You have to put more effort into being happy because the odds are not in your favor that minute, day, week, or month.
The thing that is not mentioned in the proverb is the water. The water is understood as soon as you read the word “oars.” As soon as you read that word, you get an image of yourself in a little paddleboat pushing yourself in a huge river. The river gives us a pull and a resistance to finding the happiness we are looking for, but our muscles get stronger in pushing for it. In strengthening ourselves on this path, we can find the authenticity in life at its roughest swells, as well as to find the wisdom within ourselves to adapt and make new paths with the oars. One other thing you do not see within the proverb is the other people pushing against the same resistance. The water is a symbol for the earth where about 7 billion other people exist and are paddling at the same time. For me, that understanding can be very helpful when I am having a hard day. I’m not alone in a singular stream trying to make it to the ocean. We are the ocean, all one, all existing in the human condition. How will you rise above the waves of emotion and drama today to keep perspective? What is your stand for today?