Never Surrender

The inscription reads: “Cover me in the day of war”, the final words which the author, Cliff Graham gives to David before he goes out to face Goliath.  It’s a great “Line”, just like when Winston Churchill said: “We shall never surrender”, it is the final words of one of the greatest passionate and political calls to action in all of history, as Britain makes war on Germany.  Thinking through the tenants of what does it mean to be a real man, something seems to resonate with profound insistence, and that would be the word “Toughness”. We usually hear this word and conjure up biased images of war, fighting and maybe even a short scene from a “Rocky” movie.  You see those images in your mind as I see them in mine.  “If you’re going to go through hell, keep going”, this is another Churchill quote; however, the existence of toughness within this statement could very well be, the persistent and courageous acts it will take to see something through to the end.  John F. Kennedy wrote: “Do not pray for easy lives.  Pray to be stronger men.”  Of all the qualities a man must seek to possess, it is toughness that bears the highest esteem.  You must be tough, to pray for your children every day.  You must be tough, to forgive those who’ve conspired to destroy you.  You must be tough, to care for others who no one else will care for.  You must be tough, to find joy in the midst of adversity.  You must be tough, to get up the hundredth time after ninety-nine defeats.   If you can see beyond the images and stereotypes you will find this single word to be far more than maybe you expected.  Toughness enters every arena, the emotional, the physical and the spiritual and beckons a man rise to a higher level and to believe in the things unseen; and, dares him to live them out.  Pray to be tougher men – Real Men.  Ain’t it so!

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