have you ever noticed

“The children that the world almost breaks become the adults who save it.”
Frank Warren

I love this quote. Absolutely love it.

Let’s begin with several thoughts why.

1.       Nobody’s life is perfect.

When you look across the fence at someone else it is easy to think the grass is greener where they are standing.  And it may in fact be a little greener. But trust me.  When they look across the fence they see greener grass too.  Everybody’s life, childhood, relationship, whatever is imperfect. Yes.  What I mean by “everybody’s” is ours.  You and me. So. Live with it. Oh.  I guess the point of this quote is that some people don’t … but those that do become adults who end up saving the world in some way.

2.       In imperfection there is perfection.

What would life be if everything was smooth and easy and no conflict? Well. Boring for one. Next is the fact that imperfections are what make life interesting.  That doesn’t mean I am suggesting everyone needs true hardship to have a fulfilling life but if you don’t have any hardship then … well … frankly you haven’t lived life to its fullest. Hardships is just another word for life’s imperfections. Life is imperfect.  That is what makes living perfect.

3.       All of us have been bent (or almost broken) in some way.

All that really matters is how we straightened out afterward (assuming we straightened i guess).  This thought is the follow up to number 2.  Bruised hearts, abusive parents, poverty, anger, whatever.  The list is extensive. And everything on the list bends us in some extraordinary way either trying to break us or actually doing so. So we all almost become broken in some way.  But. The point of this quote though … is sometimes the world does its damndest to break good people.  And children  (because basically the world is an equal opportunity breaker). And it is often the children who finds the strength and resilience … and still maintain the strength of spirit & values … to bend to the point of breaking and yet become an adult to strengthen the world and save it.

4.       The children that the world almost broke but who are saving the world have come to grips that they are inadequately adequate to face what the world challenges them with.

#4? The quote doesn’t say this.  I do.

Having the world almost break you forces that person to recognize their inadequacies.  No excuses.  No ‘not being good enough’ thinking. But simple inadequacies.  You either accept you will never be perfect or you end up being miserable and making excuses and pointing fingers.  Maybe it is the true difference between a leader and a change agent and simply a bitter negative person. I don’t know.  All I really know is that the adults who truly save the world have come to accept their inadequacies and despite their inadequacies are willing to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done.

It is that last thought that leads me to talk inadequacy and us (people).

I tend to believe this thought of inadequacy is an often overlooked issue with regard to self esteem and life success. Because I believe it is often this fear of inadequacy that helps create an ‘overachiever’ attitude we all seem to have (or at least a lot of people do).  And ‘overachiever’ leads to almost constant underachieving (or feelings of inadequacy) as it grows and grows not through real actions but emotion and angst … from a fear of disappointing people.

Look. Many of us probably have feelings of inadequacy (regardless of whether you are attempting to constant overachieve or not). I kind of feel many of us are conditioned to feel inadequate. No.  I don’t have proof.  And I don’t have a psychology degree.

But.  in a world of “just do it” and “how much shit can I get done in one day” and “how can I do everything perfectly” the bar is set pretty frickin’ high from a very young age.  It’s not a stretch to get to what I just said earlier.

This is going to sound obvious but to accept your inadequacies (or imperfections) you have to understand why you are who you are. I think I read it once something like seeking some type of ‘transparency of self’. Hey. I don’t really believe it takes some self–discovery mumbo jumbo or a boatload of navel gazing … it is just seeing and accepting who you are.

Simple as that.

Unfortunately life is never as simple as that.

I realize that everyone is a product of their own personal experiences, and most people can only give what they’re capable of giving. But only a few who have truly almost been broken by the world can take self responsibility.

And accept what has happened to them.

And move on.

And move on positively.

These happy few are rare.

And yes, they are the ones who may actually save the world.

And maybe more importantly (hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm .. and maybe this is how they actually save the world? … he says to himself) … they give us hope.

Yeah. Hope.

Hope that no matter how much the world tries to break us that maybe we won’t actually break.  And be strong enough.

So.  In the end maybe this quote is about hope.

The fact that children who the world almost breaks figure out a way to keep a grip on hope. And never let go of it.

And as adults these same people show us their hope.  The hope they held on to in those dark days when they were almost broken.

And they save us by showing us hope.  Not how to not be broken. But rather show us how to hold onto hope no matter how bad it gets.


I like that.  Hope.

We all need more of that. That’s for sure.

Written by Bruce