All we get are moments, Cole. One at a time, like heartbeats. Once all of them is gone, that's it. No do-overs. No repeats. Every moment possesses its down kind of magic and what we do with it counts. It counts.
We're none of us quite so sure of our place in the world that we can't be rocked off our feet by bad times. It's the getting back up again that counts. Not that you fall, but getting back up again counts for more in the long run.
Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task; it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction - purpose and dignity - that afflicts us all. Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion a year, but that Gross National Product ... counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts...
It does not count if you believe in yourself when it's easy to believe in yourself. It does not count if you believe the world can be a better place when the future looks bright. It does not count if you think you're going to make it when the finish line is right in front of you. It counts when it's hard to believe in yourself, when it looks like the world's going to end and you've still got a long way to go. That's when it counts. That's when it matters the most.
How Did You Die? Did you tackle that trouble that came your way With a resolute heart and cheerful? Or hide your face from the light of day With a craven soul and fearful? Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce, Or a trouble is what you make it. And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts, But only how did you take it? You are beaten to earth? Well, well what's that? Come up with a smiling face. It's nothing against you to fall down flat, But to lie there - that's disgrace. The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce; Be proud of your blackened eye! It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts; It's how did you fight and why? And though you be done to death, what then? If you battled the best you could; If you played your part in the world of men, Why the critic will call it good. Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce, And whether he's slow or spry, It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts, But only, how did you die?
The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.