Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Who Dares Wins

.. or "Chi osera ci sincere" is the motto of five special forces elite units: the British SAS, the Australian SASR, the Greek Special Forces, the Cyprus Tactical Group (pronounced: "O tolmon Nika") and the Israeli Sayeret Matkal (in Hebrew: Ah-meh-ez – menatzeach). The motto represents the importance of courage, resourcefulness and the willingness to try new ways of successfully accomplishing missions that are thought to be impossible.From: Wikipaedia
Is this a battle cry or an avowal of faith? An audacious boost to flagging self esteem? An attempt to get out of the dark pit, Munchhausen style, by pulling oneself by one's hair?

In order to deal with depression, one has to acknowledge and accept that one is suffering from depression. My own experience tells me that the acknowledgement part comes when the peak of the depression has been scaled. We cannot know it while we are still fully submerged in it. It's only when we begin to surface back to clear air again, that we realized how dangerously close to drowning we were. The ordeal is far from over yet, but at least we can identify it for what it is. Knowing something is wrong means that the way to fix it must, or can, be found, somehow.This is where the daring comes in. Because the last thing you want to do when you are depressed is to dare to do something. But when you are already over the worst, that's when you can start to think about it. Daring to do what, though?

A few years ago I found myself just in that situation. I had a good reason to be depressed and I'd just realized, a year later, that this was a year about which I remembered nearly nothing. In my desperation to get in touch with my mind again, I joined a discussion group in an academic institute. The course was "Aspects of Love. 20 participants and two discussion leaders who were the embodiment of kindness and wisdom. For six sessions I sat there and said nothing. I was enchanted with the reading material, which encompassed every discipline in the humanities. I had lots to say. But I just sat there, mute. Afraid to open my mouth. And then I began to work on myself. I said; next time, I'll say just one thing, one little sentence. I won't mind whether it is a clever sentence or if anyone responds to it. I'll consider it an achievement if I just managed to utter that sentence, once. It took two more sessions for me to get that sentence out. It was not a big deal, and I didn't think I made the leap yet. But in the next session, the leader opened the discussion with a question directed to me. I realized he had given that question some thought and tried to tailor it to me. l appreciated the thoughtfulness. This time I provided a whole paragraph. The others wanted to understand better. It became, finally, what it was supposed to be: an easily flowing conversation. After that, the joke went, that there was no shutting me up.

So, who dares wins. A big dare there. I dare you. I dare you to dare a little. Like taking this item from here and placing it there. Like, understanding your fear and being kind to it by not trying to chase it all away, with one fell swoop. Great heroes can achieve great things by one fell swoop. But in my own life, I'd rather be a little hero, who dares little things and wins.

Right now I'm in the mood for a little daring. But I do have one caveat: a little daring is like dropping a coin into a fountain, or a pebble into a deep well. The reward for doing that is nothing much, or a great deal, depending on one's personality. I enjoy doing that, dropping little pebbles into a well, because I like the sound of the pebble hitting the water and reverberating back up to me. That's my reward. There is something that delights about this exchange, the pebble hitting the water, the water responding by sound… splash….

But if you know the well is dry and you still drop that coin, then don't expect any rewards. Daring should not come out of desperation, or emotional drought.


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