Everyone in this world has failed in certain things……every living person in the world today has had a couple of rough times in their lives. Whether wealthy or underprivileged, the oppressors or oppressed, the free or captured, old/adults or tender youths. Even an infant cries helplessly at birth because of the seemingly bad surroundings compared to what it might have been used to in 9 months. Although we’ve all failed in some things; though you have been in quite harsh and prevailing circumstances, you have had a couple of achievements. If these bad things had to determine our energy/motivation Thomas Alva Edison would have not invented a bulb. Mahatma Gandhi would have stopped the great non-violent movement he inspired. Dr. Martin Luther King would have not succeeded in reducing racial discrimination.
All these men had uncountable failures, mistakes and breathtaking circumstances in their endeavors. Mr. Edison grew up with a hearing problem. Mr. Gandhi married at a very young age, 13, thrown out of a moving train in South Africa and imprisoned several times. Dr. King pursued racial equality at the threat of his life and the black race’s dignity, with so much intense opposition from fellow black people. These men have left great and notable, positive and constructive changes in the world.
With reference to our modern world...Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., one of the contemporary innovators. He was also a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution who had many hardships in his life. His parents were college graduates at his birth and gave him up for adoption. He got to live a hippie lifestyle - drugs at a very young age. Steve started Apple Inc. under unpromising situations and environment. He was thrown out of his own company, formed many companies most of which failed. Even through all those harsh circumstances, he kept the optimism and later led Apple Inc. to glory days, to great heights which it hasn't fallen from……..rather still climbing even after his untimely death in 2011.
We are all made out of the same material by the same potter. We all have a potential of improving things in the world. A capacity to effect some form of civilization. Every person has an insurmountable ability to lead solutions against varied world problems in spite of our excuses or failures.
Let’s look at precious and ordinary minerals. All the rocks originate from the same material – magma. The difference is owing to what happens after magma leaves the mantle. Igneous rocks are formed when magma cools at different environmental conditions. Sedimentary rocks are formed after broken materials are deposited and compacted in waterlogged areas. Lastly, metamorphic rocks get transformed by heat and pressure.
The same is true with people; we are all created by God. We are all conceived in a womb but grow in different environmental conditions. Some grow in comfortable and favorable environments. Others are ripped apart emotionally several times in their childhood. A handful of us have changed from our youth-age distinguishing characters, for instance a rich person can become very poor or an underprivileged person can become wealthy such as Steve Jobs. That is life…why don’t we find out as we relate this to minerals…
Some minerals/rocks are formed under extreme conditions – intense heat and pressure. They endure these unbearable conditions. Rocks such as greenstone and emerald are formed from very ordinary material. From ordinary weak lumps of sand and silt they are put under great pressure and heat many hundreds years….it can even be thousands of years. Geologists say, this way, impurities are removed leaving them pure, clean and drossless. For most of you who have had the privilege to see and touch diamonds and emeralds you can agree with me that they are beautiful and valuable minerals…even greenstone and quartzite. Not only are they beautiful and valuable but also very strong – the intense and unbearable heat and pressure made them strong.
I recently watched a TV program on Clear TV where they were showing how strong diamonds are. They had a piece of diamond, approximately 2 × 1.5 inches, a heavy bulldozer. Along with these, a surface that looked like a cast iron surface where the diamond was placed. The heavy vehicle moved over the diamond, not a millimeter was removed from the rock. Diamonds, emeralds, quartzite and greenstone are very strong metamorphic rocks. They are greatly valued; they are used on invaluable products. Imagine if they had not been compressed and heated that greatly for that long – they would just be ordinary rocks scattered around.
‘is this the right material I’m reading?’ ‘Or it is about geology?’
Well, it could be about rocks however it is not entirely on rocks.
It’s uncovering what you can do, it is to remind you of the fact that – no matter how many times you failed doing things you have uncountable and notable achievements ahead of you. Read on and enjoy….we are close to identifying this excellent person in you.
Moving along, on the other hand there are rocks that are weak, unattractive and worthless for any good work. Basalt and sandstone could be useful in some things or have some sort of value but certainly not as valuable as the rocks mentioned earlier. These rocks – basalt and sandstone, are formed under fairly better environments than diamonds, emeralds and others. Basalt is formed when magma cools rapidly at or near the surface and so is made under not so hot conditions. Sandstone is formed when sediments are compressed at the bottom of water bodies such as lakes or oceans – like the former, not so extreme. If you can permit me a little personification, these rocks are cowards….they avoid extreme heat and pressure. Their prize for being cowards is being pushed around by people. People, even those who have few to no things to do don’t find a reason to even look at them. There is nothing to wonder about when we refer to them. All they do is waste space for people’s activities – that’s why we pick and throw them away without even caring. Being weak, they break into small pieces when thrown away. Yes, that’s because they’re pathetically weak.
unlike weak and cheap rocks
The same is true about people, harsh circumstances help prepare us for even harsher situations; failures drop wisdom gems in our minds. A positive attitude in the dark can help you to appreciate light when it comes. A little optimism can aid you to pick yourself up quickly after you fail. Let failures and extreme circumstances bring a pure character out of you. Like intense heat and pressure in rocks, failures and circumstances purify us to form great and strong characters worth of respect, such characters that have propelled great revolutions, movements, innovations and developments. If we say we don’t have to go through these things in life we are deceiving ourselves. What’s more is we are depriving ourselves of fine quality things in life.
When you face difficulties remember;
- Where there’s a shadow the light is very close,
- Diamonds and emerald are made under great pressure,
- Pure gold and iron are smelted in great heat,
- When God created Eve, he had Adam sleep,
- From one high ground to an even higher one you have to pass through a (dark) valley,
- You may be lonely but you are certainly not alone – there are many others with the same circumstances,
- Difficulties imply that your movement is being felt,
- Life is not measured by the breathes we take but by moments that take our breath away” – Unknown; and,
- “Adversity introduces a man to himself” – Unknown.
- Harvey Mackay said, “It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill as long as you don’t lose the cow” and,
- Henry Ford goes on, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”.
Young men and women, ladies and gentlemen we might have been crushed severely and failed dismally but the fact that we are still alive after the crushing and failures tells us something. We still have something to do ahead of us. Embrace that fact…allow it to run away with you. Let’s invent, create and #improvise things - change the world.