“Defeat and victory are the same, in the sense that victory will open your eyes only to a deeper defeat: so fight on.”
— C.S. Lewis, Letters
Food for thought.
Emily D. said something similar, and more memorable – as only she could.
Success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar required sorest need.
Not one among the purple host who took the field today
Can tell the definition so clear of victory
As he, defeated dying, on whose forgotten ear
The distant sounds of triumph sound agonized and clear.
Similar? Not to my view. E.D.’s reminds me of a woman I knew, a beautiful, extremely intelligent, witty, charming, penetrating, well-informed and widely read, altogether extraordinary person. But she, especially in the predominantly academic milieu of her social circle, always felt “less than.” Why? She had never gone to college.
C.S. Lewis’s to me — at a very stressful time– is something other: an acknowledgement that there is no such thing as a final “victory,” that one must simply forget the labels and keep going. A call to courage. Onward!
As long as we’re quoting, Ben Stein said, “It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated… it is finished when it surrenders.”
So, in the final assessment, “onward” seems a noble charge!
I’m with you (and Ben Stein) on this one, Pauline.
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