Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I get knocked down but I get up again. You're never going to keep me down.
- Chumbawamba (Tubthumping)

It's a cold, hard fact of life that things are going to happen in your life that knock you flat on your back. So it goes without saying that one of the keys to life is to learn to bounce back from these setbacks.

Remember the children's toy, Weebles? Rounded at the bottom, you would tip them or roll them but they'd always playfully bounce back. "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."

When life pokes at you, be a Weeble.

That doesn't mean resisting the forces blowing at you. A Weeble doesn't stand solid when you poke it. It yields, moving with the force and using that energy to bounce back. To do this, it has to be smooth and rounded, not jagged and flat. That gives it the flexibility it needs. They're also weighted in their base. By staying centered, they have the resiliency to bounce back.

Go with the flow. Yield to forces that poke at you. Stay centered in the Tao. Trust that things will work out (they always do). Remind yourself of the constant circle of life: Day follows night, calm follows a storm, good times follow bad. There is a constant dance between the two. Without this movement, there is no life.

When life gets you down, close your eyes, take a relaxing deep breath and whisper to yourself: "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."

Whoever is planted in the Tao will not be rooted up.
Whoever embraces the Tao will not slip away. (v. 54)


  1. The weeble analogy is a good one with one caveat -- where you live. It's a lot easier if you live in a quasi-democracy. If you live in war-torn Iraq or Afghanistan or you live in a country marked by grinding poverty and oppression, I don't think the analogy works at all.

  2. True. It's easier to be a weeble if you live in a peaceful, democracy (although layoffs, economic meltdowns and other hardships are taking their toll here as well).
    But stories of resilient souls always emerge from the worst of situations. In fact, the Tao Te Ching was written during the Warring States period of Chinese history - a violent, tumultuous time of grief, pain and oppression.
    I can't even begin to fathom to pain and strife people must endure in places like Irag, Afghanistan or Darfur. But I think you would agree that when you're pushed down you only have two choices: stay down or weeble back up.
    Ironically, one of the things that inspired this entry was a web site I stumbled upon about Afghanistan. It's a couple of years out of date but the stories and photographs are inspiring and humbling: