Fall down seven times get up eight

Kris Lee Tattoo

Inspiring, no?

People keep using this quote (a Japanese proverb) to tell me to persevere no matter what. No matter how many times life knocks you down, you’re supposed to take it and get up again, right?

I have just a few problems with this.

First of all, who stays down? Short of suicide, of course you are going to go on. It’s a basic human drive to survive. So why do we need a saying to remind us?

Second, if you fall down seven times, there is something wrong. Maybe you have vertigo. Maybe your spouse is beating you. Maybe you’re just not paying attention to where you are going. Maybe you subconsciously like falling down. If you fall down seven times, you should really examine the cause of why you are falling down so much. Maybe you can fix the problem rather than just getting up only to fall down yet another time.

Finally, even if the message is that every time you fall down, you should get up again, somebody here has a math problem. If you get up after each fall, then after seven falls, you will have gotten up seven times. Now you’re up. So there is no way to get up an eighth time unless you fall down again.

Question everything. Especially cliches.

10 responses to “Fall down seven times get up eight

  1. lmfaooooo you’re such a wonderful grump.

    the math actually does work because they’re counting that first time that you stood up, before your first fall. and i’m going to keep hanging onto this cliche because for me it’s not about whether or not you’re going to stay on the floor, it’s about whether or not you are going to keep pushing yourself to take risks, and the vast majority of folks don’t keep taking them. learned helplessness is a terrible, and pervasive, thing…

    1. Nobody in a normal frame of mind would count the first time you get up. Would you say “If you fall down, get up twice” ?

      I love your optimism and perseverance, Laura, you are a wonderful person. But I think you are stretching an explanation to fit this since it is a favorite saying.

      Learned helplessness is indeed awful. And I am flattered at your calling me a “wonderful grump” because I think that fits me so well . . . .

      1. well, actually, you couldn’t fall down unless you had stood up first?, you could fall asleep 7 times, awake 7, no, you would have had to be awake before you fell asleep the first time, hmmm, needs more deeper thought?

  2. Even the familiar “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again” has an extra “try” – maybe that’s just been extrapolated to the 8th “get up again”

  3. You are completely missing the point! But you get a pass for funny.
    Remember where this proverb comes from and moreover from, this has a martial tone to it to teach resilience and perseveration to better oneself.
    It can be translated to daily life but taking it literally won’t get you far!

  4. You are completely missing the point! But you get a pass for funny.
    Remember where this proverb comes from and moreover from when, this has a martial tone to it to teach resilience and perseveration to better oneself.
    It can be translated to daily life but taking it literally won’t get you far!

  5. Maybe your starting point could be down, so you choose to get up. That’s one point for up LMAO then you fall down seven times and get up seven more times. But in all seriousness, you are taking this saying way too literally. There’s nothing wrong with somebody just because they fall down several times and get up again. That is just life, life happens to us all and we all fall down numerous times throughout our lifetime. Now, I would agree with you if one never chose to get back up. It’s not a mathematical equation, it is a metaphor on how to deal with the twists and turns that we experience throughout our lifetime. If someone has this attitude about life, then surely they are demonstrating courage, not cowardice. Although it may not add up mathematically, the extra “get up” or “stand up” is just an additional emphasis to a positive attitude. Nobody’s perfect, and you can’t always control everything that happens in your life. You did make me laugh, though! LOL!!!

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