On Overcoming Defeat

My daughter just barely missed passing an extremely difficult examination for a professional designation she is seeking, and for which she has been studying and taking courses for more than a year, at considerable personal expense. And when I say, “just barely missed passing”, I mean exactly that–by a few percentage points.

Knowing that she would be discouraged by this unfortunate occurrence (who wouldn’t be), I called her and gave her what would be euphemistically termed a “fatherly pep talk”. I told her that I have been defeated many times, and, after a period of feeling sorry for myself, always come back. I told her that, although it was her decision, (those of you with adult children reading this know that you can’t tell them what to do, only encourage them to –hopefully–do the right thing) I hoped that she would take the exam again, even though I knew that it would mean many more months of study, and at some financial cost, since this is a very expensive exam to take. I told her that it wasn’t like the Dillon’s to give up. I told her that Jewish people have this beautiful saying, “May you go from strength to strength.” That is what I wished for her–the strength to pull herself together and take the exam again.

To her credit, that is exactly what she is going to do–a true Dillon to the end! I am very proud of her.

As Margaret Thacther reportedly said, “Sometimes you have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” I think that she’s right.

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