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Have you earned your stripes?

I love a good saying and this one keeps coming up lately. To me it speaks of grit, staying power, hard work, paying your dues, with a heavy undertone of suffering.

It also strikes me that we are all feeling it a bit tough right now. Nothing seems certain, Nothing seems sure, It’s as though the earth and the sky are having a lively conversation playing with us and we’re feeling a bit piggy in the middle. Jobs are tenuous, Relationships are strained, Money’s tight It’s how we come through these tines, these challenges that give us our stripes?

Show me someone man, woman or child who has not, and is not earning their stripes everyday.

A child with a depressed or sick mum or a dad who is never around because he works too much or one who’s unemployed or hasn’t yet figured out that fathering is a participation sport that goes beyond being the ‘provider’

A woman who hasn’t had to wonder if she pretty enough, smart enough, is a good mother, wife, lover, worker

A guy thinking he’s not strong, brave enough or tough enough

A father who wonders if he can provide enough, love enough, be fair enough

A mother who can’t cope with her own ‘energetic’ children.

We are all earning our stripes every day whether we are baristas, CEOs, cleaners, refugees, beautiful, ugly, smart, educated, depressed or empowered, in a first, developing or war torn country. Any of the above could apply to all of us.

For sure some lives seem inordinately privileged and others disproportionately disadvantaged but we’re all doing our best with what we’ve got.

It’s not a competition

where we you win if your road is tougher, harder, longer, more gnarly than mine

Everyone has a sad story

As they say everyone you meet is fighting a battle

You have no idea about

So be patient, be kind


Or can you make it a better story. Wear those stripes well You’ve earned them. Walk tall, walk proud soldier but please don’t go throwing your weight around because you know you’ve been there, will be there, or are there right now

You know that your stripes have earned you: the ability to be compassionate

Be love, show love and feel love

After all were all in this together

Let’s have fun with it.

How are your stripes sitting with you right now?


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