“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.”
What if the quote ended there?
What if Rocky Balboa had walked away after stating just how difficult life can be?
It would be soooooo depressing.
If that was all life was than it WOULD be depressing. But that’s only half of reality. There’s another side.
In creating this world God allows it to be difficult. He allows it to be hard. A lot of the times we are the ones making it hard but it remains hard nonetheless. Life is tough. We know this.
Moving home has been tough. Joyous but tough. Politically, socially, mentally, physically. It’s tough on all sides. We were thrust back into the complicated mix of so many issues and conflicts – familial, local, national. Living abroad allows you to insulate yourself in a way. You can pick and choose your difficulties like you would the platters at an Abu Dhabi Friday brunch. But when you get home you find that the problems don’t avoid you. They punch you right in the face. And they do it again and again and again. Soon enough you begin to wonder the same thing that many people ask you when you moved home, “Why did you come back?!!!?”
And the next question that arises in your mind is usually, “Do I really want to deal with all of this? Shouldn’t I just go back to where it was easy?”
But that doesn’t solve anything.
Avoiding the issues also stops us from realizing the other half of God’s reality…
That there is hope.
Much like Rocky’s words, life starts with truth but finishes with hope if you have enough faith and perseverance. That faith is a choice. And life is all about choices. I chose to move back to Philadelphia. Back to the USA. We moved back to be near family, yes, but that’s not all.
We moved back because when we turn on the news or listen to the struggles our friends, family, and neighbors face, we want to fight. We want to step into the ring and go to battle. We have faith that our perseverance and our struggle is not in vain.
Living abroad, when someone asked me where I’m from, I would proudly say Philly. The city of cheesesteaks and Rocky. A city of fighters. A city full of people who take Rocky’s words to heart. Because in the end…
“It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”