As freedom lovers press forward through the hardships of 2020, the fire of resistance continues to rise as we recently got slapped with a statewide mask mandate. As Winston Churchill once said, “When going through hell, keep going.”
This year has been a very trying one for those of us who strive for the freedom to choose our own lives and livelihoods, not just for ourselves but for our families.
Thanks to citizen leaders like Shelley Luther, who stood up against questionable government-mandated shutdowns, it looked as if Texans were getting closer to finally being “allowed” to simply provide food and a place to live for their families.
Since then, we’ve been through a series of terrible U.S. Supreme Court decisions, riots, and looting.
Now, we have a statewide mask mandate and another possible shutdown looming.
With all this, it’s easy to despair—but we can’t.
In a previous blog, we talked about how we the people can’t give in. From the example of Matthew Ridgway during the Korean War, we learned that we can turn around a seemingly hopeless situation and win.
And we must, or we face a very dark future.
In order to win, we must be persistent and remember it’s ok to fail—because it is through failure that you learn how to succeed.
If you grew up in the Chicago suburbs in the 1990s, as I did, you knew the name Michael Jordan and loved the Chicago Bulls basketball team.
Jordan was amazing. We remember the six championships he led the Bulls to and won.
We don’t remember all of his failures.
He was cut from his school’s basketball team. When he finally made the NBA, he was an amazing player but wasn’t winning any post-season glory. When the Bulls finally became real contenders, they were, for a time, repeatedly blocked by the Detroit Pistons. Finally, they broke through and won three championships in a row.
Then Jordan’s dad was murdered, causing Jordan to step away from the game for a period. When he returned, he wasn’t himself, and the Bulls went a second year straight without a championship ring.
We don’t remember these facts; we just remember the six rings and the Chicago Bulls dynasty.
How did Jordan manage to succeed despite all of these repeated defeats and setbacks? What was his secret? Let’s hear from him ourselves:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
“And that is why I succeed.”
No matter how hard things got, or how many times he failed, Jordan never gave up. He kept on trying and kept learning from his failures.
King Solomon once wrote, “The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle.” You don’t have to be the best or the brightest to win, but you do have to keep going and learning from your failures.
If you aren’t learning, then your failures mean nothing, and you’ll keep losing.
Other leaders have failed, learned from it, and came out victorious.
Steve Jobs was fired from Apple after co-founding the company, only to come back years later as its CEO and oversee the development of the iPhone. Winston Churchill and the British people withstood defeat after defeat from Nazi Germany, holding off until they finally whipped Rommel in North Africa and the tide had decisively turned.
Texans endured defeat at the Alamo, then went on to win our independence at the Battle of San Jacinto.
And let’s not forget the miserable string of losses our forefathers endured before winning America’s independence.
If we freedom lovers want to win this year, we need to keep on trying and learning from every failure until we succeed not just in reopening Texas but in making our state freer than before.