The Art of Giving Up

Head down on the keyboard, losing focus, losing grasp on my goals, I kept on trying to survive the simple task of keeping myself awake. Neither strength of will nor flesh can pull you through the waters, unless they are simultaneously strong. But that never happens. The body may be strong, and the will, weak. Or perhaps, the other way around. Neither would circumstance ever constantly permit good fortune to all, for it is its duty to maintain balance in the world, by creating handicaps and problems for some, opportunities and good fortune for others.

The cycle of life and fortune is but a wheel that rolls on, and on, infinitely, forever. At some point, you are at the top. Yet on another point, you are at the bottom, kissing the very earth, and humbled by its warm, homely embrace.

And on those days, when we are held captive by the inescapable clutches of natural human weakness, it is admittedly pointless to fight against it. However, it is natural to every human to crawl upwards, to strive, to fight for survival. But it is furthermore humiliating to not learn to accept momentary segments of unwanted fate. Humans cannot be stopped, when it comes to this furtive struggle. So much so that learning to give up is an art all on its own.

Giving up means acceptance. Giving up means having a proper sense of understanding for your current condition. Giving up means being humble, mature, and true. Giving up means not unnecessarily wasting one’s energy on a hopeless effort, to invest that said energy in something more fruitful.

There is no shame in giving up when all is lost, for there is an equal amount of strength of will and flesh needed in giving up, as there is when continuing the struggle. Remember that. They are equally difficult.

The only shame in giving up is when one takes it as an escape mechanism: surrendering when things are still possible, when things are still in your control, but you just find it too tiresome, too difficult, too troublesome for yourself that you let go of it all. That is called dishonor. That is called disgrace.

But for those who know when to throw their hands up in defeat, do it with such grace and poise. It is beautiful, artistic, masterful–acceptance and humility, abandonment of an unrealistic hope, surrender to truth in the face of yet another optimistic lie.

This is the art of giving up.


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