“It is not luck you need now; it is hard work and the willingness to do it.”
– Allystaire, Ordination
By Daniel Ford
Continuing my newfound love of Ford’s Paladin Trilogy, a quote from its titular lead character. 🙂
This is actually fairly close to last week’s quote. Allystaire has done something incredible, finding and rescuing the surviving population of a small village, Thornhurst, after they had been attacked, enslaved, and horribly abused by a crew of reavers. It was quite a lucky break these people got, having such a mighty knight come to save them, bordering on (and actually including) divine intervention. But now that they’ve been delivered, they have a tremendous task ahead of them: burying their dead, rebuilding their home, and continuing with life. There’s nothing that mere “luck” can do to help them with that, even if it were to strike twice.
All they can do in the face of such tragedy and such a task ahead of them is to get out of bed every morning, work hard at whatever needs doing, and then rest well each night. That takes a kind of strength which most kings and their generals would balk at. It is one thing to have the power to destroy, but the strength to endure? The ability to pick yourself and each other up after being hit so hard, after being destroyed? That is something else entirely.
And the key, as Allystaire, is so simple: hard work, and the willingness to do it.
It occurred to me, as I read this, how much that applies to us in our lives. I mean, we have sweepstakes and lotteries and all the slot machines and poker games of Vegas, with thousands and millions and billions of dollars flowing through an entire industry catering to people’s hope and desire to completely change their lives into something incredible and luxurious all at once… through luck. But how much good has luck ever done anyone?
Hard work, on the other hand, now, that has been the hinge on which the world has swung. Poor people have become wealthy, entire civilizations have flourished, incredible achievements of every kind, the vast majority of those names which history remembers (and those it has forgotten), everything, it all came down to hard work.
Overcoming hardships requires hard work.
The lazy man, the idle man, the man who, for whatever reason, does not put in the work, that man will overcome nothing. He can wish all he wants for his luck to change, but good luck often comes in proportion with one’s sweat.
And where people keep looking for instantaneous, overwhelming improvements to their condition, hard work improves things slowly, so slowly, day after day after day. One day, you’re a refugee in your own village. Six months later, you have a lovely, blossoming village on its way to becoming a town, and you sleep comfortably under your own roof, with a full pantry. Ten years later, you’ve had such a happy life that the dark times are a distant memory, if also an ever-present ache. A generation or two later, and your descendants are living comfortably instead of in squalor.
Step by step, day by day, we build a better life with our own hands. That, not waiting on the whims of fortune, is how it’s done.
Hard work, and the willingness to do it.