“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
Dolores Ibárruri was a Spanish communist leader. She earned a legendary reputation as a passionate orator during the Spanish Civil War when she coined the Republican battle cry, “They shall not pass!” She was also known as La Pasionaria, the passion flower.
Though there are parts of me that certainly resonate with this thinking, I don’t think they’re the best parts. And I am very glad for the people around me who bring balance.
There are a few different groups of people in the world. I mean, there are infinite groups of people, but for the purpose of this context, I’m going to go with three. There are the people who go go go and need to be reminded to slow down and even stop from time to time. We can be very motivating, and also very crazy-making. There are other people who are really good at resting back and watching. These guys need to be reminded to jump in from time to time. To move it and take some action. And then there are those that drift along with the flow and are mostly comfortable to step in sometimes and not step in sometimes.
A Strong Team
All together, these three groups make up a pretty strong team. There will be lots of balance. There will also be lots of conflict and annoyance. Probably some huffing and strong words. Definitely some passive-aggressive eyebrow-raising. And most certainly some aloof shoulder shrugging. These people all together look a lot like my family. I’m sure you could walk into any office and find these dynamics at play.
On the one hand, “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” Those of us who live here know that movement forward is everything. That taking charge and being in charge is the best way to make sure things get done just the right way. That pausing and bowing and listening could seriously slow down momentum. Some days, pushing forward desperately and determinedly keeps us one step ahead of the things that haunt us. And so, it would feel better to die on our feet than to slow down and face the alternatives.
On the other hand, there are so many options and opportunities. There are important perspectives to take into account. Those on the team who are the strategists would like to have all the information before making a plan to move forward. This is vital and deliberate and calculated. This type of movement may seem slower at times but often catches up with the advantage. Sometimes, though the considering and observing can turn into overthinking that brings with it a paralysis.
And then there are those of us who are content to flow. I am married to one of these wonderful people and though I am exceedingly grateful for his temperament, it is the most puzzling to me of all of us! Greg flows. He moves along as the tides move him along. Mostly he is content and easy. He gets things done mostly and when he doesn’t get things done, he invariably ends up flowing back around at some point and getting them done then. Though he isn’t necessarily passionate about anything, he is wholehearted. He brings a wonderful balance to the people in his life. For those of us who are rushing around, he is a reminder that it’s ok to slow down. For those of us who are endlessly contemplating, he is a reminder that movement is good.
I just love balance! And balanced among my people is my favorite place to be. I love it when we all get to contribute our quirks and gifts. When new perspectives come into play that enrich and expand us all.
It can be too easy for me to forget that I am part of a team. Some days I can get so intense on my feet that I get dangerously close to burning the whole damn thing to the ground. It is good that I have strategists and people around me who are intimate with flow. It is good to be reminded that sometimes my knees are just as productive as my feet.
And so, if you are a flow-er, or a thinker and watcher, or a go-er, let’s play nice together. And let’s be friends~