Every man has his limit


My bicycle’s inner tube exploded on the way home last night, so this morning I had to push the bike to my old neighbourhood where my “office” is located. When I arrived at the bicycle repair shop near my old apartment, it was closed. Two hours later when I checked again, it was still closed. So, I had to walk to school this afternoon. And back. On my way back, I walked past the shop – which had finally opened its doors. Ten minutes later I was there with my bicycle and the busted inner tube.

“NT$450,” the owner tried to rob me when I asked him how much it would cost to replace the inner tube.

Seconds later, I was pushing my bike back to my office, and soon afterwards I again walked the two kilometres back home. In my sandals.

Two insights:

1. It’s a sad truth that not every dark cloud has a silver lining. But if you don’t see the silver lining because of your attitude, ask yourself: Is my problem terminal, or can I do something about it?

2. “Every man has his price, Bob, and yours was pretty low,” sings Roger Waters. So every person has their limit where they say: “I can’t go any further. I can’t do it anymore …”

Question: Where is your limit?

Perhaps your bitter experience is over in five minutes, or in two days, or in a week. Are you going to look back, when it’s over, and say: “Damn, I shouldn’t have given up so soon … I really wish I hadn’t started moaning and complaining so hard at that point already …”

Near the end of my hike this afternoon my legs were stiff, and tiny little pebbles had gotten stuck in my sandals as I shuffled along the sidewalk. I thought of soldiers who had to march miles in miserable conditions, just to lie down in a ditch the next morning and shoot at other soldiers who had also hiked a long way to get there.

That’s when I thought of the Roger Waters lyrics: “Every man has his price … and yours was pretty low.”

I realised if I had started moaning at that point, it would have been my limit. And it would have been pretty damn low.