In two earlier posts, I’ve written about Metallica’s lyrics regarding suicide and refined suicide. On this submit, we’ll contemplate how Metallica requires one thing past resilience with the track “Damaged, Beat & Scarred.”
The state of affairs is sort of common. You’re down and defeated and you might be tempted to surrender. The human situation is such that you will need to “rise, fall down, rise once more.” In fact, not everybody does rise once more. Some folks fall and keep down. Others rise a number of instances however finally rise no extra. A Japanese proverb instructs: Fall down seven instances, rise up eight. That is the important thing to success. It isn’t what number of instances you fail or how badly you might be defeated, however what number of instances you regroup and check out once more.
One thing greater than mere resilience is feasible. Repackaging a line from Nietzsche, James Hetfield sings, “What don’t kill ya make ya extra robust.” With resilience, you bounce again nearly as good as new. However if you’re solely nearly as good as earlier than, there will not be a lot motive to assume that issues will probably be totally different this time. The best is to develop into higher and stronger. Nassim Taleb captures this Nietzschean idea with the time period “antifragile.”
Issues which are fragile break below strain, whereas issues which are resilient bounce again to their earlier state. However issues which are antifragile really get higher and enhance after struggling pressures or shocks.
In lots of instances, the human physique is antifragile—not solely does it bounce again after an sickness, however it’s typically higher and stronger as a result of it now has antibodies to stop the sickness the subsequent time. Muscle tissue are antifragile: When torn down by train, they rebuild and develop into stronger.
It could actually sound like foolish macho speak to invoke the Nietzschean line à la Hetfield, claiming that “What don’t kill ya make ya extra robust,” nevertheless it is a perfect to aspire in direction of. Slightly than settle for defeat and keep down, you’ll be able to muster the fortitude to rise once more.
Working towards antifragility
The expertise of rising after defeat or failure offers confidence and a blueprint for the right way to do it the subsequent time. This isn’t your first rodeo—you’ve been thrown from a bucking bronco earlier than. Each state of affairs is totally different, however you’ll be able to generalize out of your expertise to seek out the boldness to rise once more.
It’s not clear if antifragility is a talent that may be taught. Whether it is, then few expertise may very well be extra helpful, and this one needs to be taught from a younger age.
What is obvious, although, is that antifragility could be modeled. We are able to study it from observing others, even when we will’t study it from an instruction ebook. Since it may be modeled, we’ve got an obligation to be trustworthy with others. We must always not faux that we’re unhurt by the Shakespearean “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and “the thousand pure shocks that flesh is inheritor to.”
Our intuition is usually to cowl our wounds, even to disclaim that they’re there, or not less than to faux that they’ve healed and now not hassle us. The facility of Metallica’s track derives not simply from mighty guitar riffs however from its message that we should always not conceal our psychological accidents. We incur them within the midst of every day life and may proudly show them for the world to see. “Breaking your enamel on the laborious life comin’ / Present your scars / Chopping your ft on the laborious earth runnin’ / Present your scars / Bleeding your soul in a tough luck story / Present your scars / Spilling your blood within the scorching solar’s glory / Present your scars.”
In fact, scars can be utilized to impress and intimidate others, however that isn’t the intention on this case. Slightly, the intention is to take satisfaction in a method that concurrently salutes your particular person toughness and acknowledges our widespread humanity. Sure, your scars, emotional or bodily, are badges of honor, however they’re additionally indications of vulnerability. Thus we show toughness not in pretending to be bulletproof, however in admitting that we bleed as simply as anybody else.
Metallica’s highly effective reminder
“Damaged, Beat & Scarred” begins within the second individual, “You rise / You fall,” however the really feel is that Hetfield is talking of his personal expertise. This angle turns into clear when he switches to the primary individual as the thing, “they scratch me.” By the center of the track, although, the second individual is directed to the listener with the crucial to “present your scars.” By the ultimate line of the track, the narrator and the listener are joined in widespread trigger within the first-person plural, “we die laborious.”
There is no such thing as a yielding softness within the face of loss of life or defeat. We don’t surrender simply. The message isn’t just a command however a want and a reminder. If we aren’t actually killed, then we’ve got an opportunity to rise once more, to re-create ourselves as one thing higher and stronger. In the end, we’re all engaged in “the struggle to the ultimate breath.” With loss of life disappears the prospect to develop into stronger. We might rise once more in one other type, however who is aware of what awaits us in “the undiscovered nation, from whose bourn / No traveller returns”?