A shooting star pierces through the night,
Leaves a light streak.
Today, I'm bursting myself into dust,
Tomorrow, I will be reborn in the new battle!
--- In the memory of the victims of Tiananmen Square Event
‘Quit! Give up! You’re beaten.’ They shouted at me and pleaded,
‘There is just too much against you now. This time, you can’t succeed.’
As I started to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race
and hope refills my weakened will as I recall the scene.
For the thought of that short race, regenerate my being.
A children’s race, young boys, young men. Now I remember well,
Excitement? Sure. But also fear. It wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up, so full of hope. Each thought to win
that race or tie for first or at least take second place.
And fathers watched off the side, each cheering for his son.
Each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they sped as if there on fire.
To win, to be the hero, it was each boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular, his dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought ‘My dad would be so proud.’
But as he sped down the field across a shallow dip,
the little boy had thought to win lost his step and slipped,
trying hard to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace
and met the laughter of the crowd. He fell flat on his face.
So down he fell and with him hope, he couldn’t win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face
which to the boy it clearly said, ‘Get up and win the race.’
He quickly rose and no damage done. Behind a bit that’s all
and run with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious, his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
I’m hopeless as a runner now. I shouldn’t try to race.’
But in the laughing crowd, he searched his father’s face.
That steady look said again, ‘Get up and win the race.’
So he jumped to try again. Ten yards behind the last.
'If I’m to gain those yards’ he thought, ‘I’ve got to run real fast.’
Exceeding everything he had, he regain eight or ten. But trying so heard,
He slipped and fell again. ‘Defeat’ he laid there silently.
A tear dropped from his eye. ‘There is no sense of running anymore.
Three strikes. I’m out. Why try?’ The will to rise had disappeared.
All hopes had fled away so far behind, so error prone, closer all the way.
‘I have lost. So what’s the use?’ He thought, ‘I’ll live with my disgrace’
But then he thought about his dad whom soon he had to face.
‘Get up!’ An echo sounded low, ‘Get up and take your place!
You weren’t meant for failure here. Get up and win the race!’
With borrowed will, ‘Get up,’ it said ‘You haven’t lost all.
Winning is no more than this, ‘To rise each time you fall.’
So up he rose to win once more and with a new commit
he resolved that win or lose he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now the most he’d ever been.
Still he gave it all he had and ran his thought to win.
Three times he had fallen. Three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner as he crossed the line first place.
Head high, proud and happy. No falling, no disgrace.
When the fallen crossed the finish line last,
the crowd gave him the greatest cheering for finishing the race.
And even though he come in last with head bowed, low, unproud.
You would have thought he had won the race to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad, sadly he said, ‘I didn’t do too well.’
‘To me you won,’ his father said, ‘You rose each time you fell.’
And now when things are in dark and hard, difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy helps me in my race.
All of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all,
All you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.