(from “The Lion in the Winter”):
Prince Richard: [the sons – in the dungeon – think they hear Henry approach] He’s here. He’ll get no satisfaction out of me. He isn’t going to see me beg.
Prince Geoffrey: My you chivalric fool… as if the way one fell down mattered.
Prince Richard: When the fall is all there is, it matters.
So it’s not really a quote but rather a line in a movie but it is still meaningful.
How you lose matters.
It matters a lot as a matter of fact.
I am not suggesting you shouldn’t fight for what you believe is right up until the bitter end (although there is an art to losing before it becomes too painful for everyone).
I am suggesting that when the loss is all there is that the way you lose really matters.
I sometimes think people (and me included) ignore ‘the fall’ because they are already looking beyond. Beyond to “what’s next.” Ignoring the loss, or the fall, as an undesirable event which should be ignored as if it didn’t happen.
I guess that’s not bad. But sometimes that’s not good.
Because not all ‘falls’ are equal. In your own mind and certainly not in the mind of the other.
Will King Henry care if the prince is disgraced or even dies with grace and honor? Probably.
He may look at it differently. May.
Will it matter to Richard? Surely.
It makes a statement of who he is as a person.
I guess my point is that one way of getting over a loss is to treat it simply as an adverb in the middle of a long sentence. Simply a word with the intent of getting to the period.
And then, like Richard, you can treat it like it is the end of a sentence.
Or an exclamation point.
Or a question mark.
A way to put a piece of punctuation at the end of this particular sentence. Richard states that it matters to him and he is going to control how his fall is defined.
This isn’t about being right or wrong.
This is about character.
I guess we sometimes worry so much about winning and losing and who is right and who is wrong that maybe we forget character. Or saying something about who we are as a person. That’s it. Richard wasn’t called the Lion Hearted for nothing (although he did have a cruel streak to him).
But, in the end, regardless of how he lived his life … his legacy was as the Lion Hearted.
So, remember, the fall does matter.