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Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it.

Joe Clark


Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it?

What do you think of this quote?

It’s not quite working for me.

I mean, I think I know what Mr. Clark is getting at — when defeated, don’t internalize it.  Don’t personalize it.  Don’t let it become you …

But you don’t have to swallow something bitter to taste its bitterness, right?

I think defeat tastes bitter.  And, like a bitter taste, defeat is unpleasant.

And you don’t need to swallow to taste its bitterness.

But I desperately need to salvage the quote!  I think I have just the fix.  Forgive me, Mr. Clark; but I am going to improve your quote.

Here’s what I’m thinking —

Defeat is bitter, but it isn’t fatal unless you swallow it.

What do you think of that quote?

Defeat is always bitter.

But when we internalize … personalize … swallow … the defeat becomes us … we become defeated.

What was only unpleasant, becomes fatal.

Because what dies is our urge to compete.  Or our initiative.  Our drive.  Our self-confidence.  Our self-worth.

Bitter is bad, but it’s not that bad …

Defeat is bitter tasting; but it’s only temporary.

Unless we make it permanent.  Unless we make it fatal.

Unless we swallow.

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