Photo, courtesy of Dan Enrico

We all fall down. But we don’t all experience falling down in the same way; some are ignorant and some are knowing.

There is an ignorant person who will fall and never know it. They stay pinned to the floor, believing that life can only exist below them. And so, they live close to the ground with their heads down, all the while, forever plagued by a vague sense of wanting more. The wanting is endless. But they never think to stand because they do not know their legs—they’ve forgotten how to use them. This person does not know peace. 

The other kind of ignorant person falls and immediately gets back up. But they don’t understand their injuries. Fear and shame propels them to speed upward and onward without pause. They never think to mend. And so they walk around on broken legs because they refuse to feel pain, they refuse their own humanity and forget compassion for themselves. In failing to acknowledge being broken, they seek to break others, exploiting the pain and injury they find in those around them. This person does not know compassion.  

There is a knowing person who falls but never asks for help. For pride of self and a fear of burdening others, they resign to stay down because they cannot allow themselves to need help. Their pride relies on self-deception, an image of invincibility that rejects the truth of limitation.
Their fear insists that others cannot handle their pain, so they believe in the necessity of loneliness and reject the notion that others can care for them. This person does not know trust. 

Then there is another knowing person who falls. This person understands what the others do not. They do not deny the fall; they embrace it. They fill up with compassion for themselves and others. They replace “sorry” with “thank you”—they do not apologize for needing help. With an open mind and heart, they heal faster, stronger, more completely, and later stand on firmer ground.

Through ultimate acceptance we can know fully the power and benefits of peace, compassion, and trust. In the act of falling down we learn how to better love ourselves and others, how to carry the torch of hope through all of human struggles. Because we know that everyone falls, we also know that all who have fallen are never alone.

For Sufey.