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how do we respond to hard?

I wonder what other people think about that question. How do you respond to something that is hard?

My 9 year old niece was struggling in kung fu class this last wednesday due to severe balance problems (most of which was in her head) and kept saying "I can't do it!"

It got me thinking, how do we respond to something that is hard? Do we respond with a defeatist attitude and give up, or do we keep persisting?

That question begged this next question in my mind: Why should we persist in practice of something that is hard?

Of course the obvious answer is that if we persist then someday we will succeed. But is that all? I think that this is where a great many of people lack understanding in our society today, particularly in the young people. There is an intangible benefit to giving something the required effort to truly master it, not just get a passible ability but truly master it. I don't really think it matters what it is, as long as it is difficult and you don't quit until you have completely mastered it. There is something that we gain on a very deep level by struggling with it. Far too many people practice something only enough to get by and do not bother to stay with it until they have mastered it, and that is a sad thing really, because they are the ones that suffer from not trying. Sure it is hard, but if it is easy, then it carries very little value beyond the immediate satisfaction of being able to do it -- passibly. In times long gone, in places not here, people would spend a lifetime seeking in the study and mastery of one single thing. The discipline that they gained from the struggle, the strength of character, the wisdom, and the humility that comes from knowing that you have not yet mastered completely this one thing yet you keep trying at it is the mark of a certain type of person that has value far deeper than what we run across in most people you meet. If you know someone like that, cherish them. Study those people, and maybe you too can gain value from their struggle.

It brings to mind this Scripture,

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 1 Corinthians 9:25

puts it into perspective for me, what about you?

thanks for thinking about it!


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