You’re two hundred feet up. The ground below has been cleared for this special event.
As you approach the edge, you realise that you’ve begun to sweat. Heights never were your favourite thing. In your hand is clutched what everybody has come to see fall from such a height. The bouncy ball.
Now you’re standing at the precipice with your arm extended. The ball is resting in your upturned palm. The crowd, who were cheering, hushes. You tilt your palm towards the floor. The ball rolls off and accelerates towards the ground.
As it falls and gathers speed, it becomes just a speck to you. After a few long seconds, it makes it’s first impact. It bounces high, slows and drops back to the ground. It rises again, less high and drops back to the ground. This process occurs several times in quick succession until the ball rests quietly on the ground.
There’s a few things the decreasing height of the ball’s bounces could represent. One is the energy we expend trying to improve our lives.
When we’re young, we’re idealistic. We have visions of the life we want to lead and the energy to pursue them. We chase these mirages, relentlessly and recklessly, often with unintended consequences.
But as the fire of youth wanes, our energy dwindles. We either cannot or do not expend as many resources trying to shape our lives.
And as the twilight of our life begins, we come to accept whatever happens to us. We stop fighting and start surrendering.
Just like the bouncy ball dropped from a height. After the first few bounces, we rise high and fast. But the subsequent bounces get smaller and smaller, until we’re just resting on the ground. Acknowledging, rather than trying to defy, the shackles the forces of gravity has placed upon us.
But does it have to be so? Can we, as we age, bounce higher and higher? Rather than choosing surrender, can we not learn to become better fighters of the forces that try to bring us back to the ground?