It’s Not The End of The World

You just lost your job. It’s not the end of the world.

Your fianc√©/spouse left you. It’s not the end of the world.

You didn’t get into the college you wanted. It’s not the end of the world.

It’s a refrain you’ll hear whenever something goes wrong in your life. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. It’s meant to be reassuring. After all, if the world’s still spinning, then everything’s ok, right?

Wrong. It is the end of the world. When you suffer a major setback, whether personal or professional, it’s the end of the¬†world that you’ve built. It’s the end of the world that you’ve invested in, that you’ve poured your time and energy into. It’s the end of your world.

To write that off with an absurd cosmic comparison does a disservice to you and it does a disservice to your grief and disappointment. You can’t shrug off the misfortune you’ve suffered just because the sun will rise tomorrow. You can’t raise your head and keep walking like nothing happened just because the force of gravity remains unchanged. Contrary to what anyone says, you’ve just witnessed the end of the world, and the aftermath isn’t pretty. It’s not supposed to be.

So mourn that world. Lament it. Take the time to reflect on what that world meant to you and what its loss means. Then, pick up the shattered pieces and build a new world for yourself. A better one.

It’s the end of the world. But it’s not the end of you.

Dodgeball

Today’s assignment in Writing 101 is all about being inspired by a quote. The quote can serve as an introduction to the post or inspire the post itself. It was a tough one, to be sure. What quote would be worthy enough to discuss in a blog post? After much thought, I found just the right one.

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!

– Patches O’Houlihan

Truer words have never been spoken.

Wait, what? That’s just a silly quote from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, a comedy that contains no real life lessons and many shots of people getting hit in the groin with projectiles. Or is it?

While the quote is used for laughs, and is spoken by eccentric wheelchair-bound drunk Patches O’Houlihan while literally tossing wrenches at the protagonists in an attempt to teach them dodgeball, it contains one of the most important lessons of life: hardship makes you a stronger person.

We have all, at one time or another, had metaphorical wrenches thrown at us. At least, I hope they were just metaphorical for everyone. And each wrench has made us stronger, more capable of dodging less dangerous objects that life tosses our way.

Yet that’s not always the case. I still tend to get worked up over the small things in life, sometimes having mini-meltdowns over the most trivial issues. During those times, I need to remind myself that I’ve dodged so many wrenches in life. Major problems that should have left me in ruin, but that I overcame to be where I am today.

And at its heart, there is a much simpler lesson behind this quote: it’s important to have a bit of goofy humor in your life. When things are looking down, remembering an inspirational quote from a scholar or great thinker is no good. I know some people draw inspiration from that, but it doesn’t help me. Sometimes, what you really need is an irate drunk throwing wrenches at you to remind you of your own strength.

After all, if you can dodge a wrench, what chance does a mere ball stand?