Daily prompt: Admitting discretion might be the better part of valour

Daily Prompt
Enough Is Enough
When was the last time you were ready to throw in the proverbial towel? Did you end up letting go, or decided to fight on anyway?

Well, I don’t know about this ‘throwing in the towel’ business. I mean, think about it. There’s the boxer sitting in his corner looking at his bloody and battered self, and his trainer/manager/whatever is bawling at him to get his act together and get on his feet, and his half the crowd is goading him to take another beating in the interests of their hefty wagers – and maybe he suddenly wonders whether ‘victory’ doesn’t have a hollow ring when you couple it ‘brain damage’, and whether throwing in the towel is really conceding defeat, or living to fight another day.

Because winning, like anything else, is the sum of its component parts, and if one of those parts is the sacrifice of something you hold dear, have you really won at all?

But then again, maybe I’m just saying this to let myself off the hook for the times I walked away from situations I could no longer tolerate.

You think about these things as you get older: whether the outcome would have been ‘better’ if you’d stayed. And then you get older still, and you realise that not only is the past another country, it’s a country doesn’t issue visitors’ permits, let alone working visas, so the whole inner debate is a waste of time. And what’s more you realise that self-flagellation is hopelessly unproductive, so best you get on and make the best of now instead of setting up opportunities for future self-flagellation, when you realise you’ve wasted the years you had left.

That’s the theory, anyway!

And a PS for WP: ‘Did you…decide to fight on’, not ‘decided’.


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8 Responses to Daily prompt: Admitting discretion might be the better part of valour

  1. Martha Kennedy says:

    I’m amazed by how seriously this prompt has been taken by people and how (maybe even) too smart people are. I think walking away from intolerable situations is definitely throwing in the towel, sort of “Fuck it. This isn’t worth it” which is, of course, what I hope the boxer figured out. I don’t spend much time looking back thinking, “Could I have changed things if I’d only hung in there?” because I’m such an idiot that I don’t “throw in the towel” until I don’t have a choice.

    • He probably didn’t figure it out, partly because he’s too young, and partly because he’d know that those who lost money on him would tear him limb from limb, so he’d be no better off.
      I’ve also hung onto the towel too long on occasion. You only see these things with the perspective of age.

  2. bkpyett says:

    Well written Helen, and I’m glad you added the PS, as that worried me too!

  3. Lisa P says:

    Sometimes walking away is the bravest thing to do. There’s a certain dignity to knowing when to call it quits. If you have it, I envy you.

  4. browney237 says:

    I see no value in looking back, eventhough i find myself doing it on occassion.
    As you say it is like another country that doesn’t issue visitor permits/visas so there is no point in trying to go there – great analogy.

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