Pula and Ren: The Motto of Botswana is “Rain”

My single-word motto is a Chinese character that roughly translates to “persevere” – but it means much more than that. What’s your life’s motto?

And what’s your life’s motto?

Chinese Character Ren - Perseverance

In my room hangs a painting of a Chinese character that my father drew.

It’s composed of two smaller characters. The top part is the character for blade. The bottom is heart. There’s no precise English translation but most translate it as perseverance or resilient but that’s not exactly right.

It tells a story, at least to me: Even with a blade in your heart, you must persevere. You must survive.

The flip side of the story says that it will take a bowie knife in the heart to stop you.

In Africa, there’s a country called Botswana where they’ve suffered centuries of drought and desertification. And they have a single word motto, “Pula” – which means, “Rain.”

It sums up what permeates their lives and their thinking. I suppose that’s what mottos are supposed to do.

If that’s the case, then this character from my father is my motto.

It is our fate for Life to beat us one day but I’ll still scuffle and struggle until I’m breathless and weak.

It’ll take a knife in my heart to stop me. Even then, I’ll try to survive the blow.

Location: last night, wide awake in bed
Mood: resilient
Music: I’d be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender
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