Nina London

Always find the strength to fight on

  • Seize the day: a young child exhorts his frog to not give up during a frog-jumping competition. The parable of the two frogs, writes columnist Nina London, embodies and astonishing truth to live by — always find the strength  to fight on even if those around you give up. Strive, even if it seems impossible

Never give up

Before I left Moscow many years ago, my friend gave me a special and symbolic gift: a green frog made of jade. I loved it instantly and, as I rubbed its smooth surface between my hands, she quietly murmured a mysterious Russian incantation: “Never give up, always be brave and keep kicking your feet.”

In a bright flash of insight, I remembered the parable of the two frogs. It is my favourite one.

One day, two frogs fell into a pot of milk.

They swam round and round the high and slippery walls, but could not escape. Soon they were fighting for their lives. They did not want to drown and swam harder and harder.

They kicked their webbed feet to climb out, but slid down again and again. Exhausted, they began to sink.

One of the frogs then thought: This is hopeless! Why should I flounder like this? I will only suffer. It would be better to accept my fate. It stopped struggling and drowned.

The second frog thought: No, I can’t end up like this! Try harder! Swim! Try to get out. With steady determination, the second frog kicked its feet.

No matter how fast and hard it tried, the walls of the pot were too steep, the surface too slippery. Over and over, the frog repeated: I will not give up!

The small but courageous frog continued to kick. Long hours passed.

Suddenly, it felt there was no longer milk, but something solid below. The frog looked down and saw that it was standing on a small island of butter.

Where did it come from? it thought in great astonishment. Then the frog realised that it had made solid butter from milk by churning with its feet.

The frog summoned its last energy and jumped out of the pot.

This parable embodies a truth I live by: Always find the strength to fight on even if those around you give up. Strive, even if it seems impossible. You are capable of more than you think!

Life is full of surprises. One day, you will be on the other side of that slippery wall, amazed at how you got there.

Here in Bermuda, I put my jade frog next to my bed. Why? Every morning when I see it I am reminded to never give up. Sometimes, I rub it between my palms, feeling its pleasant heaviness and the coolness of the stone. It slowly warms under the warmth of my hands, and I softly tell it, “Don’t worry, I am still kicking my feet.”

• Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind.

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