"To be defeated and not submit, is victory.  

To be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat".


My loving father spoke about Józef Piłsudski, the first Marshall of Poland, more times that I can remember.  His name is forever ingrained in my consciousness and I learned about his uncompromising valour early on in my life.  It was illegal to speak about him in my country.  The state forbid it.  But the state was not welcome in our little apartment.

Throughout my life, when I doubted myself, and when things were not going too well, my dad would remind me that defeat is not the end of us.  Submitting and giving us is.  Quitting is the only unforgivable sin.

I have never forgotten this passage and this morning I am reminded how true and important it is.  We must embrace it.  We need to live out its essence.

We will never find enough glory on which we can rest our weary head.  Not if you understand that we only find meaning in the preset moment. 

If you want to live in the future; fear, and anxiety, will eventually cripple you.  You will timidly submit to their whispers. 

If you choose to live in the past; you will rest in your comfortable memories, but experience ultimate defeated.  You will come to desperately dread each new day to come, because it will never measure up.  It is much easier to sit back and remember who we once were, or what we once accomplished, than to become who we have never been, and create what has never been done.

If take a leap of faith and choose to live for today, brace yourself, and open your arms to an ongoing struggle.  You will certainly face disappointment.  You will face failure and dance with discouragement. 

But if you don’t stop…  If you just keep digging your ditch…  If you don’t submit… 

You will be victorious.

This is what victory looks like and sometimes victory disguises itself as defeat.

Yesterday, I decided to pick up my son and daughter from school, instead of the usual routine of waiting at the bus stop.  I wanted to give them a few extra minutes of quiet time before my daughter’s first meet and greet at the soccer pitch.

My daughter came out first and was super excited to see me.  After the usual hugs and kisses, I noticed that she had her hands folded over each other.  I didn’t know why or what she was doing.

She eventually uncovered them and examined her index finger.  She was trying to remove a tiny little black dot.  It took me a little while to figure out, but I finally realized that the black dot was a tiny little ant.  I assumed that it had crawled on her when she got outside, but I learned that something else took place.

At last recess, the senior kindergarten children found a few ants in their classroom.  A little boy frantically stomping on them and chanted that he was going to kill them all.  My little five-year old daughter bent down, and despite the onslaught of frantically moving toes and heals, managed to gently pick up one of the ants.  She held on to this little ant for the rest of the class, and was so proud when I finally helped her to gently lower it to the ground.

She was both happy and sad.  Sad, because she couldn’t save more.  Happy, because she was victorious in saving the life of this one. 

She failed the many.  She made a difference to the one. 

Victory was won today.

This little girl, that reminds me so much of my mother, taught me about victory. 

I am grateful to learn so much, from creatures that are so little.

Embrace the day. 

Burn the laurels.

Never submit.