Posted by: universitymindlab | September 4, 2008

The Importance of “Getting Up When Knocked Down”

The Importance of “Getting Up When Knocked Down”

By Bakari Akil II, Ph.D.

While watching the Democratic National Convention, Vice Presidential hopeful Joe Biden reiterated his oft repeated theme about, “getting up when knocked down.” No matter how many times I hear that statement from him or from others, it never loses its salience. Biden is absolutely right. We all have been “knocked down” at some point in our lives. However, it is what we have done afterwards that counts.

Do we nurse our wounds until they become phantom injuries that have long ceased to exist or do we get right back up and start moving again. In Biden’s speech he recounted that as a youth when he’d get pushed down by bigger and stronger boys in his neighborhood his mother would send him back outside with the instructions to sock them in the nose so he would be able to walk up and down the street without fear. This statement is not about being a ‘tough guy’ nor am I advocating violence. It is about recognizing the enduring strength of the human spirit and will. It is about not letting anyone or any circumstance influence us to forget our dreams.

Further, this way of living doesn’t have to just apply to extreme situations. It can also be used in the daily knocks that one receives as they strive to obtain their goals. The people who say we can’t achieve something or the person who is rude or gives you a hard time for no reason may knock you down for an hour or even a day, even if it was unintentional. Instead of allowing these moments to alter our moods and affect our productivity and positivity we have to learn to shake it off and keep moving forward.

The ‘shame’ one experiences in life should not be because ‘bad’ things happen to us or that trials disrupt our lives, but for allowing such incidents to destroy our capacity to keep striving for success and achieving our goals and dreams.


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