Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The unconquered spirit

“There is no shame in defeat
- as long as the spirit remains unconquered.”

These words, as I once heard them many years ago, were spoken by the fictional character Fenix in the computer game Starcraft, and they’ve stayed with me ever since. Truly, great quotes can come from the strangest places.

Having said that, I suppose I should also say something about why I think this is such a great quote. Well, basically because we all suffer defeat from time to time – and that’s OK as long as we learn from it and don’t give up, because it’s only if we give up that we’ve truly lost. The other way we’ve just lived and learned, and although some lessons can be quite costly to us, I generally also believe in the saying that what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.

52972438SG024_leppardOne unconquered spirit that I’d like to talk about today is Rick Allen, best known as the drummer of Def Leppard, which also happens to be my favorite rock band of all time. What’s special about Rick Allen? Well, not only is he a really a great drummer. He is a really great drummer with only one arm.

In 1984, he had a nasty accident and was thrown clear of his car in a crash at high speed. He lost his left arm and the surgeons of the time couldn’t fix it. So, what did he do? Give up? Nope, not this guy. He decided he’d rather go and learn how to drum with the one good arm he had left, and guess what, that’s what he did!

I once heard a radio host talk about how Rick Allen, the drummer of Def Leppard has only one arm and “that says it all about all other drummers in the world!”.

No, Mr. Radio Man, it says precisely nothing about any other drummer in the world.

The only drummer it says anything about is Rick Allen.

But yes, it also speaks volumes about what is really possible for someone who just won’t quit.

Or, in the words of another great artist of our time – Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem:

“You can do anything you set your mind to, man.”