You Will Go Further With Someone By Your Side
The verses of Antonio Machado remind us that life is a path that we must go down that includes some obstacles that cannot be avoided. What you can do is decide how to overcome those obstacles and how to focus the pathway towards your goals and, in this sense, it is good to know that you have someone by your side.
“On a trip to Kenya, I asked a Maasai that was with us what would happen if a lion appeared. He told me nothing because he had a spear and a knife. Then I asked him what would happen if I were alone. He told me: if you are alone, you are dead. In that moment, I took it as a life lesson.”
-Alberto Chicote, on the program Al rincón de pensar–
In an interview, the famous chef said that one of his life lessons had been realizing that being alone is being dead. The path is full of lions with many faces and various shapes, where you may be able to vanquish one more quickly if you do it alone, but you can never defeat them all if you do not have help.
If you are alone, you are dead
Being alone is not the same thing as feeling alone, nor the same thing as wanting to be alone. That is, desired solitude is good at certain times and can even be necessary. Feeling alone is being surrounded by people and only finding a void. Being alone is wanting to cross a river and not being able to because you do not have anyone to help you drag a log to make a bridge.
Nobody is going to make the path easy for you and it will be complicated if you expect to do it alone: if you want to cross, maybe you will manage to, but surrounding yourself with the right people who will voluntarily give you a helping hand will double the strength and ingenuity in the face of this obstacle.
I suppose this is why the Maasai shared the lesson with Chicote: not because solitude is bad, but because traveling with company is sometimes indispensable. To give a practical example, let us imagine that you want to start a business: it is not very likely that you have enough means to do it alone, which is why it will be much easier if a team, with diverse skills, helps you, and you can share your happiness and success with them.
“Dear Daniel, the sooner you realize this, the better: nothing in this lousy life is worth its weight in gold if you do not have anyone to share it with”
-Carlos Ruíz Zafón, in The Shadow of the Wind-
Getting to the end is not as important as getting there with others
When you have managed to drag the log over and reach the other side, you will understand the value of having someone by your side and the virtue of knowing when it is better to be alone. Then you will also know how great it is to be lucky enough to have someone there, by your side, who will not let you fall or drown, who keeps you on your feet and lets you rest for at least a few seconds.
We often tell ourselves that it is better to be alone than in bad company, and we forget that the choice of who is by our side lies in our hands. There are times and situations for each of the two, for desired solitude and to share our hopes and dreams with those who are really by our side.
In this sense, maybe it will interest you to know that Albert Einstein said once that he felt alone. He had managed to achieve his goals and became the most well-known scientist of the 20th century, but emotionally, loneliness was taking him over. This also shows that sometimes having close relationships is a necessary ingredient to feel complete.
A push has a greater effect if someone gives it to you
When a baby starts to take its first steps, the parents are aware that he has to do it for himself, although it is always right to lend him a hand and make him feel that someone is by his side. This same thing happens when we become adults. You are self-sufficient and can move forward with high self-esteem, but it is never a bad thing to have someone there who is willing to push you forward if you need it.
The presence of some people in your life can sometimes be the motivation that you need to go further than where you once thought your limits were. Those people can make you believe in what you deserve, make you fight for your hopes and dreams, and help keep you from stopping in the face of doubts and fear.
Having someone by your side as you go down the path of life is doubtlessly the great luck of having found special people who matter to you and whose challenges you share. Furthermore, if they are really worth it, they will be with you until the end and will not stop trying to help you achieve what you set out to do.
“Going together is a start, staying together is progress, working together is winning.”