THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS by Joseph Tom Riach
In my early teens, my form teacher at school, exasperated beyond reason by my notoriously errant behaviour, prophetically declared to me, “One night you’ll be taken down a dark lane and given a good beating!” He would soon be proved right … both actually and figuratively.
I never sought sense. Neither indeed wisdom. The crumbs of each which have come my way were delivered rather than ordered. Many by way of blows.
Life’s daily barrage of straight lefts taught me caution and respect, the hooks and crosses tolerance. Humility came courtesy of the jarring uppercut of failure. With it I learned to take life on the chin. Then there were the body blows. The sickening mid-riff thuds of family deaths, loved ones gone, no redemption.
Yet I learned to hang on when hurt, bob and weave when pressured, deliver a low blow when desperate. I was saved by the bell more often than I deserved but was carried unconscious from the ring too.
At those times I was brought back from the edge, revived and restored by improbable allies. Friends and colleagues oft neglected, mysterious strangers, angels of mercy. And the simple hand of friendship proffered by well-wishers more worthy by far than I.
next column …
Each time I recovered, I came back stronger than before – my resolve undiminished. Enhanced in fact through the unconditional support of those who nursed me through the hard times. I learned that with pain comes gain. For that reason I’ll be in the ring again today … and tomorrow … and the day after.
You see I have an obligation to my schools. Both the one of my teen years and the other which no-one applies to attend but where all are accepted and awarded lifetime scholarships. In this latter school pupils get kicked around a lot, get sense knocked into them. Graduation may take place down a dark lane.
But it’s the best school in the world. It’s the school of hard knocks!
I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. I hope you enjoyed this sample of my work. Find all my current titles (novels and ‘personal achievement’) at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other leading book stores. Click the image below.
“From every book written by Tom Riach you will gain unique insights to success, you will laugh, you will reflect upon your own character, and sometimes you will just sit in awe of his mastery of life, business and the simply written word.” – Randy Ireland, SFI Team Leader, Sulphur Springs, Arkansas
© Joseph T. Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.