I haven’t been to Disneyland in over 20 years. I have nothing against the happiest place on earth. I just lost my desire to visit theme parks after high school. My 7th grade class once took a field trip there and I came across two strange machines. One of them stretched out a penny and imprinted Disney-related words and images on it for a souvenir. Of course, you had to provide the penny and pay a fee. As a little kid, I used to throw away pennies that were on the floor when my mother made me help with the housecleaning. As a 7th grader, the idea of paying to have my money destroyed did not present a temptation. The second machine tested your willingness to endure pain. You had to place each hand on metal handles that delivered a constant electrical shock. If you could grasp the metal handles long enough, despite an increasing shock, you won this arcade game. As a 7th grader, the idea of paying for pain was quite enticing. I watched a classmate play and win. I wanted to see if I could win but fear prevented me from trying.
Three years passed before I returned to Disneyland. I was very surprised to see the exact same two machines. I still did not care about the one that destroyed pennies. However, I resolved to play the arcade game. Fear whispered in my ear but I ignored it. If my 7th grade classmate could win the game, then this should be easy for me to do three years later. I inserted my coins and grabbed those metal handles. As soon as I felt the pain, I retracted my hands as fast as I could. A lady was watching nearby and laughed at me. I felt like a wimp. It took me years to realize that I was not a wimp because I did not subject myself to that arcade game’s electrical shock. A warrior will do the right thing despite pain and even death. There was nothing significant about winning an asinine arcade game. I would probably lose again if I played it today. This does not matter. What matters is that I am willing to undergo pain and even death for the right reasons. I know that I am. I have the eye of the tiger. Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger (1982) taught me what this means. Make sure that you know for yourself.
All of us are great when we come into this world.
Only a few of us are great when we leave it.