There Is Nothing New In The Story--by Kimberly Sabatini

There Is Nothing New In The Story...

This month on the blog we are talking about surviving the worst. When I contemplated this topic, the first thing that came to mind--okay--the second thing that came to mind, was how the phrase surviving the worst means something very different to every single person in the world.

No two human experiences are alike.

Everyone struggles and most of us try to hide it. Everyone feels misunderstood. And each of us has a different bottom line based on our individual set of experiences and obligations. We each have our own stories and understanding them is complicated work. It takes time and awareness.

While fighting for what a person believes is a necessary and desirable component of surviving the worst, I've begun to wonder if listening and learning isn't also a trait that's just as vital. I sometimes wonder if our ability to learn from the past is a muscle we don't flex enough. Maybe our awareness of  those around us and our empathy towards their individual human experiences could be just as powerful a weapon as any other--a safer weapon in the fight against the worst.

“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

Winston Churchill—House of Commons, 2 May 1935

I don't want to be unteachable. I don't want to be frozen by my failure to act because an earlier opportunity was more fortuitous and now I feel stupid for trying. 

When we are in the middle of surviving the worst, we tend to shake our baffled heads as we look around, declaring what we should have done while we had the chance. We decide it a missed opportunity. But I'm learning that every day is a new chance to learn from the story of our past and reinvent ourselves. There is no statue of limitations on becoming a wiser person. In the circle of life, you can never be at the end of your road without also being at your beginning. Just like fighting for right, empathy can start at any time.

There is nothing new in the story except our response to it.


  1. I will be the first to admit I have never experienced the 'worst'. I have seen dear loved ones who have and for that my heart hurts and I can't imagine how their's feels. Your words once again are so wise in helping us all. Never too late.

  2. Oh, Kim... another awe-inspiring post. You all are awesome.

  3. Wise and wonderful, Kim! xo


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