“C. (my six year old sister) fell off Dominique (our donkey)!!” A. (my nine year old sister) announced, walking into the house.
I immediately turn around to look C. in the eye. “Did you get back on??”
C. looks back at me and says, “No.”
“No?” I ask, faking amazement. “Why not?”
“Dominique ran away and I had to go get her.” A. says.
“When A. got her back, then did you get back on?” I ask C.
“Because I was already walking up to the barn.” C. answers.
I smile at her and take her hand. “Come on, C.” I say. “Let’s go.” I lead her out to the barn where Dominique stand tied up. “You always have to get back on,” I tell her. “Because if you don’t get on now, you might be too scared to get on later. Also, Dominique will learn that you falling off is a way to get out of work. And then she’ll start doing it all the time! We don’t want that, do we?”
C. shakes her head.
“Can you get back on?”
She nods and I pick her up and put her on. “Now hold on, ok?”
She nods again and I can tell she’s a little scared. I don’t take her very far. Just down to the pear tree and from the pear tree down to the end of the bales, and then I bring her back. She almost fell off once more, but she hung on and I was able to boost her back to where she needed to be. *whew*
I tie Dominique back in the barn and help C. off. “There you go.”
She smiles back.
I hug her. “C.? Always get back on after you fall off. It’s a whole lot better than standing around scared.”
People. Always get back on–not blindly, know why you fell off–but never spend your life scared of getting back in the saddle again. Your life is more valuable than that. You have more purpose than to sit around, shaking in your boots and afraid to step outside the door. Strap on your chinks, put that foot in that stirrup, grab onto that saddle horn and get going. There’s a whole world out there for you. It’s ok to fall off as long as you learn from your mistakes and get back up again.
Always get back on.
Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.
– John Wayne
It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.