I Am a Lion God has given me the heart of a Lion. I prowl and wonder here and there I stand on the edge of the clip my heart is fearless. I leap into the misty unknown. I know I will live! No one can stop me. Majestically I float a flick and flicker leaving my marks in the dust. dust you came from dust you shall return... but not today. Today I tower over the kingdom and roar! Today the trap they set is seen. I am wise to their scars they cannot deceive. On all fours I stand within me beats breathes the heart of a Lion...
Sometimes you have to turn everything off and just breathe. We are being bombarded with news that has us on edge every single day. Non Stop messaging that seems to be driving us crazy. Either that or stark raving mad and ready to do battle. There are times when many of us feel as if we are truly going crazy, our heads spinning with all that is taking place around us and to us.
We have become social media junkies. surfing all the social media platforms that seem to give us 10 million answers to one question and all of them different, falling short of the mark of enlightenment. It never seems to end! By the end of each week we are left feeling frazzled and ironically exhausted. surfing and sparing with all this information can be tiring.
Then there is this “new normal” that everyone keeps harping about which makes you feel like you are living in the twilight zone. What is remotely normal about this 2020, new normal must be a joke. Nothing is the same and nothing will be the same. Many are looking forward to 2021, but keep in mind that we were all excited and eager for 2020, and look how that turned out.
The fact is we are at a place where last year this time we would have never imagined we would be at. So what do we do now? There are many ways that we have been made to develop a healthy dose of fear and sense of powerlessness – unprecedented. Well, we have nowhere to run, quarantine restrictions seems to be taking care of that and made escape that much harder. Then how do we tackle the walls that are closing in?
We simply have to shut it all out. We have to go off radar by getting off social media and spending a little more time preparing something to eat instead of trying for the uptenth time to join that zoom meeting. Stop forcing our mind and body to do what they are not willing to do at that moment and just sign off for a while.
Everything and then some that has come with this covid pandemic year will still be there when you sign back on. Just like the virus, those issues will be here for a while. And if it means totally signing off to keep your health and peace of mind then do that to0. In the year of improbabilities, it may just be the right time to shut it all out and go off radar.
Many will say that Boxer in, Animal Farm by George Orwell, has many admirable qualities that we aspire to have. He is loyal, kind-hearted, hard-working and always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty – an enigma for too many of us. It is also important to mention that the story also acts as a political allegory about revolution and power and those impacted by such events. Specifically, it’s an allegory of the Russian Revolution from 1917-1923. This revolution has been described as a violent one (Bloody Sunday Massacre of 1905), which saw the end of imperial rule and the beginning of Communist rule and the formation of the soviet union.
What starts off in Animal Farm as a successful uprising and promise of a better future losses momentum with the replacement of the old, (Old Major), with the new (Napoleon and his minions). Things quickly go sour as the pigs, in a position of power, manipulate the legacy of Old Major (Animalism), to control the other animals, while solidifying their power and wealth.
And this is where we bring in Boxer…
I was talking to a friend of mine about working hard at whatever we do, and he mentioned Boxer; ” yuh remember what happened to Boxer, from Animal Farm? Dem tun him inna glue!”
Yes Boxer played a vital role in the development of the farm in its new era. His indomitable spirit inspired the other animals when their fortunes changed and he worked relentlessly for the good of the farm. But at what cost?
Instead of receiving trophies, incentives and other accolades for his effort, and retiring in bliss, he is sold off to be made into glue when he is of no more use! His worth? Whiskey for Napoleon and the other pigs! All that he receives is the title of hard worker, “he was a true hard worker”. He was loyal to a fault and though he was the strongest animal on the farm, he used his strength to serve those who exploited him and not to improve the conditions of the other animals facing the same exploitation. The worse part was that when something went wrong he always blamed himself and vowed to work harder. He had become too use to taking orders, to trying to get things right and always being obedient and never disobedient.
Sometimes we think we are acting independently and never realize that we have been programmed to follow a path created for us; the mind has been programmed.
So, the lasting image of Boxer is his effort to make the mill:
To see him toiling up the slope inch by inch, his breath coming fast, the tips of his hoofs clawing at the ground, and his great sides matted with sweat, filled everyone with admiration…
Then again, it could be for me the most tragic scene in the book. This is when Boxer taken away to be slaughtered; for Boxer it is the last time we will see or hear him…
…Although the animals warn him, it is too late. Boxer is already loaded into and locked in the truck for the glue factory. His strength is compromised by his failing health. His desperation is apparent by the sound of “tremendous drumming of hoofs inside the van, but he is too weak to break free.
There are many lesson here:
- Be careful who you trust they may take advantage of you!
- Never follow anyone blindly, even your friends.
- Even the best of us can be controlled and manipulated if we let it happen to us.
- Know your worth and never compromise.
- Make your own path and lead the way.
- Make your dreams a reality and don’t die on someone else’s
- Be the best you can be but never be someone’s ladder.
- Know and embrace your limitations and never see them as a negative but as a reminder that you will never be unemployed because you’re always working on yourself!
And many more if we think hard enough.
I read Animal Farm when I was fourteen years old and I was so inspired by the revolution carried by the animals, brought to tears by the sacrifice and ill-treatment of Boxer and the other animals. Saddened by the anti-climatic nature of the revolution’s aftermath, especially after Old Major’s death. Angered by the greedy, heartless and corrupt pigs – a suitable animal for such a role! And the really sad truth that there are people who lie, deceive and undermine those who for whatever reason find themselves at a disadvantage. Also, there are many who trust too much, give too much and receive very little or nothing in return, just like Boxer. Their lives become tragic.
Although Boxer had the ability to be an inspiring hero, in this story he is a tragic- hero figure; one to be pitied and pointed at,
“that is what not to do!”
Life teaches hard lessons, never be too gullible to learn them, and learn them well.
Deye mon, gen monHaitian Proverb
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troublesPsalm 34:17
When I first came across this Haitian proverb I didn’t know what it meant. So I decided to find out.
So this is my finding: when you overcome an obstacle or difficult situation, don’t get too comfortable, there is another one waiting for you to conquer. Now this could be a disappointment because we all love happy endings. However, as we all should know by now, real life is not that fantastical. You get rich, okay – more money, more problems. You finally get that dream job after burning the mid-night lamp. Okay, now you gonna have to burn two! The point is, once we get what we want, it doesn’t mean that it’s smooth sailing all the way.
We can think of it as the mountain being a measure stick of how much we can tolerate. Imagine, the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, is 29,029 feet tall or 8,848 metre. So far eleven persons have died trying to reach its summit. While this is terrible, there are many eager climbers, professional and non-professionals alike, waiting to take their chance. For those who make it, it is not necessarily a daredevil feat nor the status and prestige that comes with success. For some it is a confidence in the abilities that they can overcome any obstacles waiting for them. It is this confidence that will get them up there and down. It is a confidence that will later see them tackling many more mountains.
So now that we know that our mountain top experience is not the end, can we be confident in tackling those other mountains waiting for us to scale? Reaching the top of a mountain should not be driven by hubris -well i don’t think so. It should bring into focus, what’s important, it should not only be a chapter you can now close, but an awakening to the limitless potential still waiting to be realized by tackling yet another mountain. In passing the “death zone” of any mountain you conquer should make you realize that nothing is impossible. You stood on top of that mountain you faced yesterday and then mountain yet to be climbed tomorrow, will also be conquered.
Just remember, those mountains will give you a good workout. They’ll make you stronger!