I’m currently reading ‘A Life Too Short’ – a biography of the German goalkeeper Robert Enke. After a lifetime fighting depression, despite his success and the love and support from his wife and friends, he threw himself under a train at 32.
And a few days ago I finished reading ‘The Dinner’ by Herman Koch which details the dismantling of two families over the course of a meal, but is actually about how they have treated each other and their children in the years before this moment.
What they have in common, in my view, is a recognition and reporting of how fragile we are, and yet how all the time we are expected to be if not perfect, then at least normal, in the eyes of the world.
But who is the judge of that? And why do we continue to allow this measurement to persist when it destroys some of our best and brightest?
“Being professional means supressing emotions, carrying on.” – Is a reflection from A Life Too Short.
I think we lose some of our most talented individuals, in every field, because we expect no weaknesses. Weakness to me equals acknowledgement of others weak spots, equals empathy, understanding, comradeship.
And dismissing difficulties only brings more trauma. Appearances are not everything, at either end of the spectrum. I vote for embracing fallibility.