Friday, March 28, 2003


Embrace the suck...


Being in a theatre of combat "sucks", but as a soldier quoted in the New York Times, trying to smoke a cigarette in a sandstorm. "Sometimes," he said, "you have to embrace the suck." That is a military expression that is employed to keep yourself and your comrades from becoming too hopeless about a situation. Crude as it may be, it is indeed a powerful phrase to live by. It doesn't mean, by any stretch of definition, to give in, or give up on a situation. It simply means that you have to acknowledge that you are in a bad situation and deal with it the best you can. Sometimes you may have the means to change the situation, and other times you have to endure. As I was running during my lunch break I started up a hill, and the wind began to gust straight at me. As I began to break stride I thought, "This sucks..", but I kept going, pumping those harms, and leaning into the hill and before long I was at the top. I guess this just means that occassionally we need to dig down deep and keep going no matter how bad the situation is. I have felt that there were hopeless situations that came my way in the past, but somehow I managed to get through. While I did complain and moan I was able to persevere. Is it possible that I would not have had to struggle so hard had I not wasted energy on complaining and saying, "Woe is me"? Maybe, Maybe not. Who knows, but I know from now on, when things get bad I am going to think about that soldier who was trying to light a cigarette in the middle of a sandstorm in Iraq. His life sucks, he has only embraced the suck.