It’s true that no one loves a quitter. It’s also true that no one loves someone who keeps trying but continuously fails. A quitter, though, is merely disappointing and quite forgettable, while a chronic loser is remembered for their flop-sweat desperation and irredeemable hopes: for the living lesson of what not to do and who not to be. Today, I hail both those who have quit and those who never manage to get more than a toe on the rung, no matter how hard they try. Other people may accuse you, the quitter, of taking the easy way out, or you, the chronic loser, of being incompetent or trying too hard to insinuate yourself in places you are clearly not wanted, but I know. I really do know. Being human is hard. Being a human at the bottom of anything is much harder. The decision to quit or to keep trying is personal, and very much tied to the state of both reality and spirit. They are not mutually exclusive, and while we can prime and tweak our spirits on our own, so much of reality is a matter of, well, reality.
We live in a world that gasps in shock when it learns that a homely woman (or a disabled person, or an orphan, or a dirt poor person) can sing. Yet even this strange epiphany is only fodder for conversation. It doesn’t lead to more Susan Boyles or more than one socially conscious “surprise” per open talent season. Most Susans won’t ever make it past the gate. There are only so many shocking reminders of “don’t judge a book by its cover” to be had.
The Boyle phenomena is only one, tiny slice of reality in a world that’s eye-deep in adoration of charisma, celebrity, beauty and wealth . . . Where the millionaire gurus of spirituality line their pockets with seeds of faith from the poor, promising them great fortunes of hope in exchange for their money, and where hope itself — even if wingless and unlikely — has become the American dream.
So quit or keep valiantly struggling. I won’t be one of those who judge you. You are the most human of human beings to me, and I find that more rare, beautiful and real than anything that’s being marketed today.