"I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees."
Originally wrote this on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 5:56pm
While cleaning out my old stuff, I stumbled across this article I had since I was 11 or 12. I used to read it every single day. 🙂
I would like to thank my visionary dad who gave it to me then – not ever doubting whether I could understand it or not. Well i didn’t of course in the beginning, these are not things you just understand – you kinda have to grow into it & keep reminding yourself about it, I’m convinced now that this is a lifelong practice….
Anyway, it’s an apt one to come across at this precise moment in my life – those of you who know what I am going through now will understand what I mean.
And for those of you who don’t – it doesn’t matter, as it is relevant to anyone, anytime. I hope it brings you back to a place where no difficult circumstances, adversity & blow from life can ever touch – like it just did me, and renew you from within.
To you with love, Jamie
by William Penn Patrick
Why is it that most men’s lives are controlled by small & petty circumstances? I am saddened as I watch people lose the good & great things that are within their reach and could be theirs with “but a little act of courage”!
The mediocre man, “Average Man”, is the one I speak of here. He is the one who has so little self-esteem that he cannot trust his own thoughts and judgments, but in the final analysis must rely upon outside sources for his decisions.
This is the man who is ruled by the mob, or who accepts all that he reads as truth and finally becomes like the mob. This is the man who has some degree of success only when he is caught upon the crest of a wave generated by the few exceptional self-directed individuals.
This is the man who has a positive attitude for that moment he is in the presence of positive individuals, but when left alone, “falls to his negative knees”. This is the man who sells his birthright (commitment to his own thoughts) for fear of what he thinks his neighbor might think. This is the man who stands tall as he is prompted by the actions of the mob, but is terrified with the silence of his own presence.
This is the man who follows but fears to lead. This is the man who hides his deeds in the cloak of nobility, since his dishonesty prevents him from dealing with truth and reality. This is the man who cries “foul” when life has passed him by.
This is the man who is ruled by circumstance.
Strong men create circumstances which serve their needs and desires. If you are a man of circumstance, the cure for this disease is courage.
Courage is the most beautiful of all human expressions. Courage as I see it is, “an act in the face of fear”. We only need courage when we are afraid, which means that we need courage most of the time, because we are afraid of something all of the time.
I have discovered that fear becomes a coward when faced with but a small act of courage, and further, that the muscle of courage will grow strong with continued use.
My advice to myself is, “do those things which you fear, and keep doing them until you are no longer afraid, and then you will have become the master of your fate.”
I have studied the deeds of men both great and small, and I have studied those men who are great and small. In this study there appears to be many differences. All of the differences which count have, at their base, one single thing – courage.
Courage is that one ingredient which separates the weak from the strong, the successful from the weak, the great from the average.
All the things you desire in life have one common handle, which is made for the hand of the man of courage.
To be afraid is to be alive. To act against that fear is to be a man.
Someone once said, “I had rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.”
– William Penn Patrick