“The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”–William Booth
As an American, surrendering is never an option. I was raised with mottos like “give me liberty or give me death”; “remember the Alamo”; or “I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.” We have been taught to “never give up.”
The image above comes from the reality television show, The Great Race. What is most remarkable is not that this contestant survived the accident, but that her partner urged her to keep trying after she wiped the blood off her face, so they could win the race.
Maybe Americans have it wrong. Maybe surrender should be our first option.
One of my favorite albums in high school was U2’s War. Looking back, I realize that the whole album wasn’t about war at all, but surrender. Two of my favorite songs from the album are “Surrender” and “40.”
“40” is the last song on the album and became a staple in U2’s live performances. It comes from Psalms 40:
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”
To me, waiting patiently is a form of surrender. I’m vowing to surrender more and fight less in 2013. I am going to surrender the things in the past that I can’t change. I will surrender my fears about the future and focus on the present moment.
“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.”–Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Most importantly, I will surrender my ego to the greater good. It is our ego that causes us “to win no matter what the costs.” So much suffering in the world stems from egocentric behavior. Maybe living on one’s knees in humbleness and surrender is better than not only dying on one’s feet, but also standing on the victor’s podium.
Perhaps the quickest way to peace is for everyone to surrender to the higher powers of humanity, lovingkindness, and compassion.
What are your feelings about surrendering? Am I being anti-American by having these views on surrender? Please share.
Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.