Dead horses and why they shouldn't be beaten

It’s always hard to know the difference between giving up and moving on. Personally, I draw the distinction at responsibility. Which, admittedly, doesn’t make it all that much more simple to ascertain, and in no way does it exempts it of suspicion from of corruptive influences.

Nevertheless, when reaching a point when these are the major cards in play, ultimately, one has to take responsibility for oneself, one’s own life and the quality of it, first. It sounds cold and calculated when stated like that but there’s a reason flight attendants tell people to put the mask on themselves before helping others in case of an emergency. A shame there are no prizes for ”doing it right” or being ”realistic”.

That said, it’s kind of the whole theme of life, isn’t it? Finding that balance between self-service and self-sacrifice and learning how to deal with it when making tough decisions or even getting it wrong.

It’s not really rocket science either that by nature human beings are self-centered, and so the world will – regardless of what Galileo says about heliocentricity – revolve around the individual. That should make it less of a surprise when having to realise – time and time again – that views, impressions and perspectives are severely flawed as navigation tools. For a general direction they’re great, but not so much for maneuvering in the seedy back alleys and mine fields  that make up bruised egos and hurt feelings.

In that mode any cause that isn’t your own is a dead horse. Useless. Rejected. Flawed. Called out. Truth and reality are non-essential factors – if they’re allowed a part at all. You see what you expect to see. Hear what you want to hear. Believe what you need to believe. In order to get out alive. That’s what you tell yourself, at least. And sticking to your guns feel so damn good it’s addictive – so much so that it can be hard to stop doing it even after getting out on the other side.

To me, moving on is when I feel I have become a dead horse. When I am so stuck that who I am and what I think and feel seems invalid and pointless. Leaving before that point would be giving up, but once the stage has been reached where the only right answers aren’t MY answers then it is time. Time to take responsibility. Time to look down the road instead of over my shoulder.

We’re all blind. We all resent the inconvenient notion of failure when we desperately need to feel vindicated. But no one can force readiness, not in ourselves and certainly not in others. We do the best we can with what we have. Sometimes it’s enough. Other times, it’s a dead horse… and no amount of stick it will bring it back to life again.

Dead horses and why they shouldn't be beaten

One thought on “Dead horses and why they shouldn't be beaten

  1. CentralDom says:

    I am not so convinced that you have beat a dead horse but rather you spend a fair amount of time wondering what killed the horse. You examine details. Look at motivations. Come to conclusions. It may take you a bit more time than those that think little of setbacks in life but still…you see the way and the way is forward.
    Someone said once that ‘it does not matter how long it takes you to climb the hill but rather that your feet never stop moving’.
    You like self-examination. So? One can beat the Dead Horse, if calling it that makes you feel better, but what is important is that in the end, you move on. Life is there and waiting for you…and you will.

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