Falling Lessons

When my friend was a kid, her father gave her falling lessons.

They would go out to the lawn and on the grass, he would teach her and her siblings how to fall.

Her father didn’t teach her how to fall because he was a fatalist. He was a pragmatist. Falling is a part of life. Why not learn how to do it?

When it comes to falling, our usual instinct is to go rigid: straighten out the arms, flex the wrists, resist hard, then crash hard into the earth.

But the big point her father always made was don’t go rigid. Soften yourself to it, he told his children. Roll into it. Accept the fall. You’ll save yourself unnecessary hurt. Which makes getting up easier.

So my friend learned how to fall. And, you know, it’s interesting. Here she is, decades later, radiant and strong. And save for a finger or two, she’s never broken a bone in her life.

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