Fear Not To Succeed.
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The Depths of Failure to the Heights of Accomplishments.
One person's story By Robert G. Borelli
Originally presented as a Speech.

 In the beginning we think in terms of doing the right things. We learn the basics like respect, humility, hard work, religion. We corner ourselves with the values of our parents. “ It’s not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game”. “Save your money, don’t waste it on foolish things” “Don’t smoke” “Don’t drink”. “Don’t go in the water alone”. “Don’t let a boy touch you”. “Don’t violate a girl”. “Don’t”, “Don’t”, “Don’t’”. “Do get good grades”. “Do the right things”. “Do the things that makes us proud of you”. “ Don’t question.”

Life is tough, It’s complicated. Not for the pretty people but for us. The skinny people, the fat people, the people with acne, the not so pretty people, the people that find it hard to learn. We look at the world as cold and distant. We find ourselves caught up in someone else’s expectations. Trying to do the right things. Saving our money, staying in school, remaining strapped to virtues. Somehow never gaining attention and sometimes turning into clowns to try to get attention. Refusing to fight back, even though we may have the weapons to do so.

 We look to others to salvage our lives. Not caring what kind of people they are as long as they give us attention. We cling to these people even as others warn us to go slow. Blindly we follow to the ultimate. We set up house. The house stands. Then it shakes. Then it splits between different expectations and devotions. And then finally, in embitterment, it falls.

We try to pick up the pieces but they are scattered afar. Life becomes unlivable. We flirt with the don'ts and wonder if saneness has escaped us. Despondent, it now becomes a matter of survival.

Time becomes our ally. We isolate ourselves from the influence of others. Now in recluse, we shed our clown masks. Our tears wash away the makeup and we take a new look at ourselves. This could be the end. A tragedy in scribbled words. We beg, “Read this and cry”.

No, but wait! This does not have to be the end, but maybe it could be a new beginning. We realize for the first time in our lives that we are totally responsible for ourselves. True we have liabilities but maybe we have capabilities as well. Discovering one becomes a goal.

We find one. It isn't big yet. But we dwell in it. We nourish it. Knowing it's importance, we forsake established methods and work to develop it. It starts to take form. We resist the urge to announce it to the world for fear it will be aborted. But our fears soon subside. It grows and our world learns of it and it silences them. They step back one square. It makes us wonder.

We try again with a new search. This time, in confidence we are attractive to something not many would touch. It becomes hard but we continue to work at it, and it progresses. People become attracted to us, and it progresses. We find that we are choosing our companions, and it progresses. Life begins to take on meaning, and it progresses. Characters in our life that once ridiculed us, want forgiveness. We laugh and walk away, and it progresses. And then it is finished.

We step back and look. We like what we see. Doors begin to open and the world knows that we have found our rightful place in life itself. It is now, in this time, that we will face our careers, our marriages, our families, and our faith.

For now it is in this time, for us to continue to build. Never again will our house shake, nor divide, nor fall. And we will look back at the failures, the bad experiences, and low esteem and the process that took us out of the depths of failure and into heights of accomplishments.

And we vow, from what we learned, to teach despondent others to do the same.

 By Robert G. Borelli
Catholic Men’s Ministry of Indian River County.