“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” ~Japanese Proverb
These words are a refuge to me, and they bring great joy each time I hear them. Trying to be healthy, trying to be a good husband and father, trying to make a difference in this world, I fall. I have fallen many more than seven times, but there is so much comfort in knowing all I need to do is get back up, and keep going. No need to waste time fretting, or complaining, or wishing, I just need to know that I can learn from my mistakes, and press on.
As I was pondering this phrase yesterday, I found the numbers a bit odd. If I fall seven times, I would only have to get up seven times, not eight, right? Well, that is assuming that I started from standing. But if my original position was on the ground, I would have to stand up first, before I even fell once. We don’t come walking out of our mothers womb, but we begin in a position of helplessness, and remain that way until we are strong enough to pull ourselves up, and start taking those first steps.
It is the same with any other aspect of our lives. We do not start out as masters, we do not start out on our feet. Once we do stand up, we do not need to worry about falling, because we can’t fall any farther than to the ground, which was where we started, and we already know how to stand up. Fall seven times, stand up eight.