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You Cannot Bring Me to My Knees: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on September 11, 2014

My Thanks to Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

We come into this world kicking and screaming.

I plan on leaving the same way.

“Stay down, Bill. You’re beaten. You’ll only get hurt worse if you rise.”

But what of the pain if one chooses not to rise once again?

The first time was as a fifth grader at St. Patrick’s School in Tacoma, Washington. For whatever reason, and I do not remember now what that reason was, I was in a fistfight. My manhood had been called into question, or there was some grievance that could only be rectified through violence. Whatever the case may be, I was on the receiving end of some punishment. A series of body-blows, a shot to the nose, and I was down. Blood was streaming from my nostrils, my stomach hurt something terrible, and yes, there were tears in my eyes.

I had no chance of winning that fight against an 8th grader. My best chance to live another day was to stay down and say “I give up.”

“Stay down, Bill. You’re beaten. You’ll only get hurt worse if you rise.”

I had to rise, and I did, only to get knocked down again…and again…until finally my opponent grew tired and bored with it all, declared himself the winner, and left for home the conquering hero.

I would do the same thing tomorrow, because that is how I was raised….not to fight, but to refuse to give up.

Man was not meant to exist on his knees.

A refusal to give up was taught to me at an early age
A refusal to give up was taught to me at an early age | Source

MARTHA

She comes home bone-tired, aching and chilled after eight hours waiting tables, and a forty-minute walk home in the rain. Oh, how lovely a bubble bath and a glass of wine would be, but she needs to pick up her babies at the neighbor’s house, then provide them with all the love she has inside of her during the evening. She’ll need to make them a meal, then mend their clothes, kiss their owies, and snuggle with them during reading time.

As the evening wanes and the eyes beg for sleep, she will sit at the table shuffling the bills, trying to hold off the collectors just one more day. Clean the dishes, do a load of laundry, then trudge into the bedroom where the three-year old has commandeered the bed, and privacy is just a figment of an over-active imagination for this single mother.

“Get an abortion,” they said. “Find a man,” they said. “Use your head, girl, you can’t raise those kids by yourself,” they said, but that’s exactly what she is doing, and doing as best she can, because she loves them so damned much, and as long as there is a breath left in her, she will provide and love, love and provide, because that’s what her children deserve.

Overcoming all odds
Overcoming all odds | Source

Bob Junior

Up at four, feed the hogs, milk the cows, replace the damned fan belt on the tractor, and then ten hours in the fields. Gotta get the crop in before the rains hit, and there’s only one way that’s going to happen…work your ass off, Bob, and pray to the good Lord that the storm holds off till tomorrow.

A section of fence is down in the south forty, the same south forty his daddy plowed, and his granddaddy, and great-grandaddy too, four generations working this gut-wrenching farm, and for what? Government ain’t no help, prices are dropping faster than the temperature in January, and more regulations means more expense and where the hell is that money going to come from?

The bank loan is due again, can’t get blood from a turnip, and this crop just might get them by for another six months and then what? And then what? Real estate man dropped by yesterday, got a buyer right now if you sign on that dotted line, and then what would he do? Work at McDonald’s? Greet at WalMart? Nope, he’s a farmer, from a family of farmers, and whining just ain’t getting that barley in the barn now is it?

So he aims John Deere in the direction of those crops, casting a nervous eye on the heavens, looking for a little luck and maybe some divine intervention.

MARK

Not so long ago he was riding high. He had a good job, a wife, a daughter, and his own personal oyster was tasting good indeed.

And then it all fell apart. The job was gone, and with it the wife and daughter. He scrambled. Sure as hell he scrambled, a series of dead-end jobs that kept his head above water, but how long can one man tread water when the waves are crashing and there’s no life raft in sight?

He doesn’t want a hand out, but a damned hand up would be nice. He lived, for a long time, with the mistaken impression that if a man served his country and kept his nose clean, then everything would be all right. Boy howdy, was he ever wrong. So today he walks the streets, from the soup kitchen to a park bench, playing his songs for the unwashed and unnoticed in the bowels of a city that does not care. They do not look at him, for to look at him is to be aware that what has happened to him could easily happen to them.

He should be bitter, but he is not. He should be hopeless, but he is not. He still believes, and he still hopes, and as long as the light of hope shines upon his soul, he will keep trudging through the muck and mire of an existence he never dreamed about when he was a youngster.

MARIA

Raped at fourteen by a trusted member of her family. Pregnant at fifteen, a mother nine months later, and her destiny had been written without her ever picking up a pen. One moment she’s dreaming of white lace and curtains, and the next she’s scrambling to raise her child and feed the both of them. How’s that for a fairy tale ending?

But it’s not the ending for Maria, and she will not be defined by actions forced upon her. She holds her head high and keeps keeping on, determined that her child will grow up knowing the purity of love. Shit happens and that’s a fact, but giving up can only happen if you allow it, and she will be damned if she will surrender.

BRING IT ON she shouts to the heavens, and she falls to her knees and prays to a God she is certain is still there, despite evidence to the contrary. Help me Lord, she whispers, then she rises once again, kisses her legacy, and tosses aside feelings of resentment and self-loathing, choosing instead to love herself.

We were born to thrive and not just survive
We were born to thrive and not just survive | Source

You Cannot Bring Me to My Knees

Read the news on any given day. Atrocities against man here, there, and everywhere. Just so much newsprint, but those descriptions are of real people, people who get up each morning beaten down and unable to envision a day where the sun shines and there are no bombs, no beheadings, and no ethnic cleansings in the name of the holy. Still, they rise, and go about the business of existing, and they raise their children, and love their families, and when someone else needs help they are there to offer a hand.

“The indestructible is one: it is each individual human being and, at the same time, it is common to all, hence the incomparably indivisible union that exists between human beings.”
Franz Kafka

And therein lies the secret for us all, my friends. We all need each other. Our strength as a species is dependent upon our compassion as a species. It is what separates us from lesser species. Our ability to feel what others feel. Our willingness to reach out and help with no thought of repayment. Our realization that what happens to one happens to all.

“Stay down. You’re beaten. You’ll only get hurt worse if you rise.”

Maybe that’s true, but in rising once again, we just might discover what we are really made of.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome my friend Michael. Have a wonderful week.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Dear Bill, your words are greatly encouraging my effort coming back from a desert , slovenly overcoming unexpected obstacles , not seeing end of it as yet.

      Thank you for everything my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I don't know if you consider yourself a writer or not, but your comment is beautifully written, filled with conviction, feeling, and the depth of mankind. Wonderful thoughts my friend...just wonderful.

      blessings this week and beyond

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      O Bill, how many more writers in the world would be able to wrapped up in entire substantiation of mankind's history from the very origin, as you have don it in one sentence " Man was not meant to exist on his knees."

      ...the story of " myself ", Martha, Bob, Mark and Maria though in miniature only ( as we all have our beginnings)- showing the strong desire going back to original ' carte blanche.'

      I can not help myself, but to say, since the first day of reading this article, in my spirit was echoing information owing my soul for over a half of century coming from the Book of all wisdom " What is a mortal man that you remember him…You have made him a little lower then yourself. You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him rule what your hands created. You have put everything under his control…"

      We have long way to go, - where "we've" been and belong; that's why I'm getting up , obeying urge of fulfillment, stronger that any ego . Naturally, not much can be accomplished on the knees ( except voluntarily when we are approaching the throne of generosity). Then we get up stronger, our accomplishments becoming crowning to some while we are committing ourselves to final goal … Final goal where triumphantly rules faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is Love.

      Voted awesome and useful.

      Good night my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know it isn't, Deb, and that explains, at least partially, why I like you. Thank you my friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      If we don't keep rising, we'll start falling, and that ain't gonna happen with me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, Violette Rose...thank you.

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Great work, this is so encouraging and supportive to all. Thanks for sharing :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, vkwok!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      This is a very inspirational hub, Bill! Another five-star hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      B Lucy, thank you so very much for your kind words. I am humbled....in all honesty, most of the time I don't think I'm a very good writer....so....thank you.

    • B Lucy profile image

      B Lucy 2 years ago from Podunk, Virginia

      I am always in awe of how you can bring words together to not only tell a touching story but to also convey strength, values, ethics and incredible compassion. I can only hope to one day have a small fraction of your ability. As always, thank you so much for sharing with us!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank! There are some sad stories out there...gives us a reason to be grateful.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      I believe hard work just makes for a better person @ Bob and Martha.. terrible sadness for Maria... wow raped at 14 sad.. :( but a reflection to think about Billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Brie!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting, Paula. Thanks for the information.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      Very inspiring indeed.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @billybuc That is one thing that Squidoo did right. We were able to designate specific articles to earn for charities. It is nice to know that a portion of your earnings can go to a cause of your choice without you actually having to dig it out of your pocket. Instead, you let others join you by visiting and buying items from your article. This is part of what makes a community like this one great.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, there is no doubt that it is hard. Great suggestion about the earnings...thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, I don't have words for such a nice compliment. Thank you very much. I love it here at HP, and it's because of people like you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      iris, you are very kind. Thank you! You made my day young lady.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @billybuc It is hard. Life is not usually easy for people, harder for some. And we can't help everyone around us because if we don't keep our own selves out of hot water, then we just add to the problem. It would be cool to use the earnings from this hub if you could separate it out to start a fund for them. It wouldn't solve everything but sometimes even a little bit of help can make a big difference.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      You are such an impressive and skilled writer. I loved reading each persons trials and how they coped or not. We are all so blessed to have you amongst us. You alone makes being a member of hub pages a privilege. Voted and shared.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Goose bumps. Really and truly. Voted up, awesome, beautiful, interesting, and I'd give it more if there were more options. I'm sharing this with everyone I can.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Paula. I know these people and it is a hard road they travel.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Inspiring. I think that if we take a hard look around, every one of us can find people like the ones you talk about here that have experienced these types of issues and survived. Whether it is a health problem, job loss, betrayal or any number of other things, people truly do grow stronger through defining moments in their lives.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, sorry about that (not really LOL) dry your eyes and get 'er done my friend. Enjoy your weekend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thank you about the award. I just hang with good people. As for the message of this article, I keep hoping that, as a society, we will finally see the truth. We can always hope.

      angels, hugs, and blessings, heading eastward

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SANJAY, what you say is true. Hopefully we will find a way to see the light of truth. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Alicia. If I had my choice, this is the type of writing I would do daily.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari, you stated it perfectly and beautifully. Well done my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I'm preaching to the choir, and I know that, but hopefully there are some who need to hear this message and will find strength and/or understanding from it.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Savvydating, thank you so much. I strive to improve, but it's nice to hear someone else say they see it. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! I appreciate your visit my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Social! Any tool or method I can use to get the point across, I'll use. We, as a society, must do more.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carb, that's the hope my friend. Thank you for understanding, and for your kind words. Happy Weekend to you.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bro....not even 8 a.m. Rather early for these tears streaming down my sleepy face. But, by God, you've gone and done it, billy. Such profound truth. Simply cannot be denied. This is powerful, bro. Up+++

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Bill First congrats on your awards!!! You DONE good...HubPages is a much better place because you are here. You call it like you see...I like that!!!

      and in response to this....AMEN....we are not islands for sure, as John Donne, said...and what a good thing that is!!! We draw strength and courage from one another.

      Many many Angels are on the way to hug you and your loved ones. ps

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Thanks for the inspiring article. You are absolutely right in your saying that, "Our strength as a species is dependent upon our compassion as a species".

      But the social morals of the age has made us selfish, and as a result we often fight and face the vicissitudes of life alone, except our few close ones standing by our side. But we rise again and again.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You do a great job in writing inspirational hubs, Bill! This hub reminds us of the difficulties that people experience and well as inspiring us to never give up. Thanks for creating it.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Hi, my bro. It is too tragic and touching to the hearts. All of us pass through these things, knowing that we may not rise again. But hope. Hope should be there to pass through all these long, dark moments (better say lengthy long years) with a hope that someday some miracle will happen and you are there in a heaven of bliss.

      Voted up and awesome hub.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful and profound write here, dear Bill. Life can be so brutal at times and we do need each other so much. I have had to pick myself up on many occasions and keep moving forward, and when there are others around us who need a helping hand, let's grab hold of those hands.

      Blessings and peace

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 2 years ago

      billybuc, this hub is a winner. It is my favorite of all the hubs I've read from your selection thus far. Rise again. That's what it's all about. Your words read like a prayer. So beautifully done.

      Up and beautiful, of course.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      You drive home the point very well Bill. That's the only way to overcome odds and be not a survivor but a winner.

      Up and shared my friend!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      I like the way you split up a variety of stories to make one solid point: Keep going! I also love that you include two quotes from other writers to strengthen the message. Lovely work!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, what a loving person you are to present this topic. You recognize the pain in the world, and maybe in writing this you will bring others to recognize is too--and then act to make the world a little better. Voted beautiful, awesome, and thumbs up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz. I wish I had the time to do something like this every day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, no reason to apologize at all. What you did was beautiful, and Audrey did the same thing you did with equally sensational results. Thank you for taking the challenge and for your very kind words here my friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill you have the ability to look deep into the ills of this troubled world and lift the spirits with words. This is beautiful, full of compassion, yet strong on self discipline. A great piece of writing. Loved it. I want to add that i didn't understand correctly about your Beatles' challenge until i read Jo and Jodah's rendition, then i came back and reread your challenge and saw that it should be the same song..DUH Sorry about that..Cheers..

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Powerful hub and we never realize what turmoil another human is going through. Very beautifully written.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron. Oddly I have never seen that acronym. I really like that.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No way, Rachael, and I love your spunk and the determination I hear in your words. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I can always count on you to give a great comment, and I'm with you again. I'm not sure how we lost sight of some very basic principles, but we need to find them and practice them again. What once made our country great can do so again...but it will take a massive change in the way we approach life and each other.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, thank you for sharing your experience. I have narrowed my circle of friends considerably because of what you are talking about. I trust very few people, but I love many. Figure that one out. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann. A "brilliant" and tears....I'll consider this one a success. :) People continue to inspire me. We are remarkable beings, I believe, despite our tendency to violence on occasion. :)

      Have a wonderful evening my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that, Denise, or I wouldn't be here right now. :) Thanks for that message.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always my pleasure, Bill. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey. It is no surprise that you felt this one. Most deeply caring people would. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you esmonaco, and thank you for continuing to live the good fight.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      This is fantastic Bill, as I read about each or the people, I think of my BIBLE. B(asic) I(nstructions) B(efore) L(eaving) E(arth).

      Thank you for the message Bill, I got it!

      Keep the Faith!

      Blessings and Hugs to you my friend.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      I've had to stand up and stick up for myself from the time I was six and until my dying day, like you, I will continue to do so. Even though some of us are over 60 and should be enjoying our twilight years, life gets in the way, shit happens and for some of us, it's still pretty wild. It is here. There's no letup in sight yet. lol

      The only time to spend on my knees is in prayer. If I ain't prayin', I ain't on my knees for anybody.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Well, as individuals we need to remember that life goes through cycles, and to quote an old saying, "god helps those who help themselves." But it doesn't say "god helps those who help themselves to other people's rights and possessions." The "greatest generation" taught us honesty, integrity and to stand on our own two feet and not expect a handout. Today society has made that impossible in certain circumstances, and we need to help others without judging them. I second your message, my friend Bill!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      So true. We may think we can survive this world on our own, but the truth is we need each other. "Iron sharpens iron..." is something I read in the good book. I'm living right now in a situation where I was beaten down by someone who hardly knows me and just because I stood up to defend myself, I got beat down even more. People can be cruel sometimes, but we still need people in our lives. Maybe not the ones who hurt us, but at least the ones who help us.

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Brilliant, bill! You brought tears to my eyes. The sheer tenacity of some people is awe-inspiring.

      Love the phrase 'blood from a turnip'! You always find superb alternatives.

      This is a hub of sadness but also of hope and determination. Courage & determination pay dividends in the end.

      I enjoyed this read on my Thursday evening, bill. Thank you for that.

      Ann

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We all have it in us. No matter what happens, we can get up and go on.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Oh, my! But, useful. Thanks for sharing this important message, and your passion behind it! ;-)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      An important lesson Bill--you touched my heart with this one

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I don't think I ever really believed that. I was more a "shit happens" kind of guy, no matter how I choose to live my life. I just found out eventually that I do not like pain, and I have some very strong feelings about how people should treat people...so I learned the hard way more often than not, but I did learn.

      I'm so happy I've been an inspiration. Thank you my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, if you had met my father, you would understand where that true grit came from. LOL Now there was a man who refused to spend any time at all on his knees. :) Thank you for your kind words my friend.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Every time I think how bad it is, I turn my thoughts to, there is somebody else out there that has bigger problems than me. I've certaily been down a few times, but always had family and friends with that helping hand, even if just to talk to. Life has many twists and turns and giving up was never an option for me. Your inspiration continues, a beautiful piece :)

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      This is very interesting, Bill. I once believed that at some point in my life, adversity would be only a vague remembrance left over from days of struggling with distressing situations. My beliefs were that if one lives their life in a morality righteous way, hardships would be spared. I walked the straight and narrow path believing I could avert misfortunes.

      It took a long time to reconcile myself to the fact that we all have our struggles. It is how we handle those struggles that defines who we truly are as a person. And, it is how we help others, in their time of need, that defines our worth to the human race.

      By the way, Bill, you have been inspirational in helping me 'mature' some of my views.

      Thank you,

      DJ.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, motivating and inspirational as only you can be. I feel for the young Bill, you my friend, have in abundance what is known as true grit. :) My best always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rhonda, I see so many examples of man rising above pain and oppression...it is ingrained in us, to rise each and every time.

      Thank you as always for your thoughts and friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful thoughts, m addullah javed. I appreciate you sharing that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, great statement at the end...yes, it still hurts. Love that. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Empathy indeed, Barbara. Without it, we are mere shells of what we can be. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you understand, Mark. Thank you for being a living example of this article.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      This was both inspiring and heart breaking. I think one line really stands out, for me, "Man was not meant to exist on his knees." Well done, indeed.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Excellent Bill sir, narration of heart touching instances of life right from the heart, shall I dare not to agree with you on these lines of yours sir?

      "We come into this world kicking and screaming.

      I plan on leaving the same way".

      Sir, if this happens to be a resolution still, then I wonders how come a person like you can leave in such an incompatible way? You should leave happily, weeping is for us. The tears that roll down the chicks speak of the value of person for which the eyes get wet. May you live long for illuminating our minds and enlightening our hearts. Correct me if I am wrong.

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      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Some of us do get through life on an easier journey. We can call our lives average--enough food, love, roof...just the usual daily problems that seem serious no matter how trivial they are in to comparison to your stories. When you burn your finger at 200 degrees or 2000 it still hurts.

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      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      It is in the rising, no doubt about that: When we stand, (Stand, by Rascal Flatts) we choose hope. Completely agree about each of us being connected to the other, it's when that connection is broken that humanity is threatened. And empathy, yes and empathy. Enjoyed this Billy.

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      Mark G Weller 2 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      "Our strength as a species is dependent upon our compassion as a species. It is what separates us from lesser species. Our ability to feel what others feel."

      This says it all Bill. Even in those darkest hours, there is that little bit of hope. And that is what makes us get back up and keep on going!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Never, John, and I believe that with every fiber of my being. Thanks for sharing that my friend.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Your words ring true again Bill. We all need to help one another to keep getting up despite the obstacles. reminds me of the song that goes "I get knocked down but I get up again. They're never gonna keep me down..."

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! I'm glad we both made it through our wild years.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, breakfastpop. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, I'm with you, and thank you for sharing those beautiful thoughts. I can learn from everything that happens to me, if I'm willing to do so.

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Powerful piece, Bill. I have nothing to add - you said what every human being needs to embrace. Awesome!

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I am thankful you did survive!

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      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Perseverance, tenacity, resilience in my life come from getting on my knees, but not in the way you mean. Similar to Maria I get it from God, although I don't shout bring it on. Rather "Lord, you have a purpose in this I cannot see just yet. I will trust you, or try at least, and remember how many times You've brought me through things when I thought there was no hope. I only ask for your strength and wisdom to get through this."

      Sometimes things don't turn out well, but I know from experience that God can use these times as well to change us, to grow us, to teach us that we can help others.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you breakfastpop. I used to tell them "BRING IT ON"...if that's the best you've got, we've going to be here a long time. LOL It's a wonder I survived.

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      It is no wonder I feel a kinship with you. I was raised to keep getting up, too. This piece is voted awesome, beautiful, and totally useful in the right hands.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you DDE. Thank you for sharing that.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I'm glad you came online too, Randi. Thank you for your kind words.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it's interesting how we were raised...I know some people who crumble at the first setback....very sad my friend.

      Thank you as always.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True, Sally. Amazing that some people just can't be bothered. Sigh!

      Thank you my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Michelle. We can only hope.

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      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      When my friend needed me I was there and that mattered the most to her than how I was dressed for the occasion. A beautifully written hub.

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      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      So, so glad I came online. Beautiful, awesome and important. Thank you for sharing this.

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      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, you said this beautifully and perfectly. I got to admit I was raised to never to give up and keep fighting for what I believe in. So, that is why I always just keep going good, bad or indifferent. Nice to hear we yet again seem to have similar ideals in life. Thank you for sharing and also just got to wish you a wonderful day ahead now!