Sometimes sheer determination is the only way to overcome tough circumstances.
After President John F. Kennedy died in November of 1963, Corporal Keith C. Clark, the Principal Bugler with the United States Army Band, was called upon to play Taps at the funeral.
At the end of the heartbreaking service, with the eyes and ears of the nation upon him, Clark steadied his trembling emotions and began. At first, his playing was flawless, each note perfectly intonated and reverent for the moment.
Then came the sixth note. Corporal Clark stumbled, making an awful squeaking noise instead of the proper note. He later admitted that he’d cracked under pressure. But how did he respond in the moment? He calmed himself, found the proper note again, and continued, finishing the musical piece as eloquently as he’d started.
All of us hit a wrong note at some point in our lives. We go left when we should have gone right. We make a bad choice and damage a marriage, a friendship, or a career. The temptation is to give up and give in to defeat. But what we should do is take responsibility for our blunders and keep moving forward.
It was Henry Ford who said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” You stay sober one day at a time, restore a marriage one counseling session at a time, and overcome bad decisions one good decision at a time.
Above all … you keep going.
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