The Only Thing To Do Is Go On
Every once in awhile a book contains quotes that are just so poignant. They are such a brilliant stroke of genius, that the human soul is ignited just reading them. In The Hobbit, I found such a delicious quote that I simply cannot ignore it, it must be the subject of a post. It is the protagonist Bilbo Baggins who delivers this little gem.
“Go back? No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”
What a thought provoking line. It’s almost as deeply significant as “Just keep swimming”. Sometimes in this life, it is good to have such a mantra. My grandmother used to tell us to give life twenty-four hours and if that doesn’t fix it, you give it twenty-four more, but always give it another day. I use “Just keep swimming” A lot. If my son comes home with mountains of homework, “Just keep swimming”. If the day has been long and tedious, “Just keep swimming”. If a friend has shown their true colors, “Just keep swimming”. It works for all of life’s upsets.
However, Tolkien’s phrase is better suitable for those large events. Those life events that seem to pull the rug out from under your feet. Those moments that leave you drained, breathless, and in pain. The type of moments that seem to kill your soul and break your heart. Like little Bilbo, lost in the mountain, we’ve all felt that feeling of “hating to go on, not daring to stop, on, on, until he was tireder than tired”. Yes, we’ve all felt like we were stumbling around in the darkness. In those moments, we can summon little Bilbo and Tolkien. Use their words of wisdom to guide us. In the end, we all know that going forward is the only option we have.