Success is stumbling
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill
One of my favorite places in California is the haunting Donner Memorial State Park near Truckee. It’s beautiful country, but there’s an eerie stillness that lingers in memory of the tragic history of the Donner Party, for whom the park is named. Even for the survivors who eventually reached their destination, life was anything but easy. Yet they and other pioneers persisted in the face of one setback after another, and today we enjoy the fruits (literally and figuratively) of their efforts.
The park features a striking monument to all the trailblazers who ventured westward to settle in California. Atop the tall stone memorial is a statue of a pioneer family, with the plaque pictured above at its base. Though the engraved words feature archaic language, and bewildering line spacing and punctuation, the underlying tribute is clear. It describes a strength of character to which we can all aspire.
As we embark on another year, I hope we will think of these words, which evoke traits that are powerful when linked: competence with kindness; bravery with benevolence. Whatever we face in 2014, may the year find us indomitable, and unafraid.
One year ago today