“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
That in fact it may be necessary to encounter defeat so we can know who the hell we are.”
That piece of wisdom goes on to say: “…so you know what you can rise from. how you can still come out of it.”
It is a quote I was reminded of recently in an excellent PBS American Masters documentary on Dr. Angelou. The idea of encountering defeat as a learning opportunity resonates with me.
When we come to a defeat that is life-changing–maybe even with the potential to be life-ending– we are forced to really look at ourselves. Facing defeat is a real test.
Do we face it head on?
Do we remain in denial?
How do we deal with it?
And, as Angelou points out, what does that tell us about who the hell we are?
These questions seem to be coming fast and furiously in these senior years. One would think we’d know who we are by then. And maybe we do. Nevertheless, we’re tested more than ever in these older years.
Have you been tested? Faced defeat? How did you handle it? I’d love your thoughts.