In a time when we feel like giving up, all we really need is the strength to carry on. While though we carry on we do not know whether we will succeed or not, if we give up we know for sure that we have failed. Sometimes it is fair to give up on certain things; that is why it commonly comes down to the questions: “What have I to gain?” and “What have I to lose by trying?” It is actually not “What have I to lose (by giving up)?” That’s just simply the first question. There is no point in gaining something if we lose something else of equal value in the process.
I’ve been tempted to give up on a friend these days. It’s not an easy decision for me, and yet I still wonder how I even contemplated doing such a thing. Pain is such an “eye-closer”. It clouds your heart and then your mind and you can’t think straight, you can’t get the logical answers to flow through your reasoning. If you try to ask yourself “Why [such and such]?” you get an answer of the form “Because…” Only that you stop at that first word. You don’t know the answer. But you believe an answer must exist, otherwise why else would you be feeling so bad about something?
The reason why we want to give up so badly is because we feel the pain inside when we try and we fail. Simple solution: get rid of that pain. I wonder why it is that though I might get beaten up badly about something, I sometimes still have the strength to stand up and take a few more beating. I realize that the thing that keeps us going, keeps us trying, is not in fact “hope”, but rather something encouraging from around. Have a chat with someone else, spend some time with friends, go for a leisure walk; a lot of things can re-invigorate us to face pain. And it is the strength we gain from such sources that allows us to continue trying, to refrain from giving up. It doesn’t mean we’re foolish when we continue to try but still fail. Foolishness is when you try despite the fact you can’t succeed. Perseverance is trying when you can succeed, even though you fail a million times.
I guess the bottom line for me is: “Do I want to keep trying for that friend?” What have I to gain? A friend. What have I to lose while trying? That is a question I have not quite answered; but somehow I doubt it outweighs the value of a friend. And though it is discouraging in trying to even talk to that person, what I have to gain at the end of the road will easily wipe away all the blood I’ve shed and left behind.
I lost a good friend a while back. But he told me a very simple thing that I still keep to heart today. I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance to tell him how much he has encouraged me over the years, to make him feel more accomplished as a friend. Perhaps I won’t; but even if I can’t I’ll keep passing on the two words he taught me that keep me going: