Strike Just One Telling Blow

June 29, 2010 · 6 comments

Who is so superior that he never doubts himself? A little self-doubt is good for the soul. Humility is a virtue worthy of pursuit and appreciation. Here is an excerpt from a book that I find not only historically appealing, but psychologically inspirational as well.

From the book Aztec by Gary Jennings – The warrior instructor has been attempting to teach a boy who has impaired vision. The young man can only see a few feet in front of his face. He is doubtful he can ever be of service to his people.

“…I will tell you of a man I once met down in Quautemalán, the country of The Tangled Wood. Those people, as perhaps you know, are all timorous of death. This particular man scampered from every least suspicion of danger. He avoided the most natural risks of existence. He burrowed away in snug security. He surrounded himself with physicians and priests and sorcerers. He ate only the most nutritious foods, and seized eagerly on every life-preserving potion he heard of. No man ever took better care of his life. He lived only to go on living.”

The old master stopped talking and there was a long pause.

…”What became of him, Master Cuachic?”
“He died.”

The master goes on to instruct the boy.
“Strike just one telling blow in battle, my boy. Then, even if you are slain the next moment, you will have done something…”

There is never a plausible reason to do nothing in life, or to wander aimlessly, or to rationalize with excuses. There is every reason to do what you can do with innate circumstance. To find your purpose in life is the most important aspect of living. Then, strike just one telling blow.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

susie @newdaynewlesson June 29, 2010 at 5:55 am

Wow-that was deep. Think I am going to have to reflect on that for a while. Thanks.
susie @newdaynewlesson´s last blog ..Especially If You Have Little Kids- Don’t Go Out Without Tissues Or Wipes

Hal Brown June 29, 2010 at 5:59 am

Thank you Susie. This is a very good book. And I’ve always been fascinated with the Aztecs.

Mari June 29, 2010 at 10:52 am

Thanks for a revealing post about a powerful lesson. One blow leads to another. Perfect advice to wrap my mind around today.

Hal Brown June 30, 2010 at 7:24 am

Thank you Mari. I’m thinking about you and the Rachael Ray show tomorrow.

karen June 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm

What a great story. I will get this book as soon a I can find time to read it. I am fascinated by the civilization of the Aztecs.

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