So it’s true, cliché but true: There is no time quite like the present. While studying for my last few exams of the semester, the strongest brunt of an epiphany just lodged into my thinking. It was the strangest, most random thing. One moment I’m studying public relations and the next I hear a strange internal voice say, “It’s the hardest truth to accept, but life, in fact, is a fair fight.”
Now if I’d been pondering life or throwing a pity party in my honor just moments before, I’d completely get why this Mack truck of a reality check would be slamming into me. Don’t get me wrong. Given the month I’ve had, I had every reason to be bitter, but I don’t know. I must be growing up or something because rather than spending the evening crying over spilled milk or pouring out what little faith I had left, I’d simply sat down to prepare for my next test.
Given my last few rounds, I knew it was time to start viewing my fight with life differently. I was losing the fight, not because I wasn’t capable of winning but because I’d become so preoccupied with my fear of losing. At some point in life, I realized life was nothing more than a series of wins and losses, and everything in the middle was simply fighting or preparing to fight again. I’d figure this precept fair enough were not for the blatant element of unfairness therein. You see, the fights are unavoidable.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you wish to do in life. You will surely face challenges. However, preparing is the part you will never be forced to do. Preparing is always optional. While sitting in class, I seldom wonder if those who opt out of paying attention during lecture, in order to Facebook, text or tweet, realize this choice is the same as choosing not to prepare for the mandatory fight we know as taking exams or if I realized during my moment of contemplation that the more time I spent arguing with the voice in my head, the less time I’d have to prepare for multiple choice-free exams. I agree.
Life is most certainly an ongoing fight. But with preparation as optional and fighting as mandatory, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to call the fights fair. How could it be? I realized my epiphany wouldn’t subside until I’d accepted it as true. So just like any crazy woman would, I decided to ask, “Oh strange voice in my head, please tell me what makes my fight with life fair?”
In a stranger tone than before, the voice replied:
“Your opponent is what makes the fight fair. You view life itself as your opponent, but life is not who you’ve been up against. Much like your college professor’s life has been giving you all the answers, every waking moment life gives you a gift called “the present,” and inside the present is all you’ll need to win your next fight. But rather than preparing to win in these moments, you’ve been opting out in fear of life. Why fear life? Life is only the boxing ring where all fights are fought. Rather than focus on the ring, you’d do better to focus on the fight. And boy is it ever a fair fight. Your real opponent is your exact weight, shape and height. You both have the exact same weakness and strengths, and nobody knows this opponent as well as you. I’m sure by now you’ve guessed it. Your opponent in life is always the same: you vs. you every day. The person you want to be will forever be at odds with the person you don’t wish to be. So the question is not whether the fights of life are fair or if you will win or lose. The questions you must ask yourself are, ‘Which you will win, and which you will lose?’ ”
Staci Cook is a junior public relations student from Tallahassee. Her goal is to found three service organizations in the areas of education, entrepreneurship and health and fitness. She plans to write self-help books and travel the world as a faith-based motivational speaker. Cook is currently writing her first book entitled, “STACI: Seeing Things As Christ Intends!”