What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?
It is of no use. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron…
If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.”
Giving it my all, with nothing to gain or lose, just for the sheer joy of doing it. Do I even understand?
Perhaps not, but I do know what pure joy is!
Hands in the mud, dirty from head to toe. Eyes sparkling watching the dogs play in a puddle. Sitting at the window at night, watching snowflakes creating a winter wonderland just for me? Skinny dipping in the neighbor’s pool, hoping not to be caught, laughing until tears run down my cheeks.
The small joys of life, treasured by us in a special way. The more sorrow we live through, the more we cherish the joyous moments life presents to us like little gifts. Invisible gold stars on our soul, shining through our eyes.
Doing something that is of no use, with no gain at all.
Maybe Mount Everest can be used as a metaphor, an example of achieving the unthinkable. Not just with physical strengths but also with iron willpower and the willingness to fight for our goals.
Beating the odds, in whatever form life pleases to throw THE ODDS into our path, brings a joy that is unmeasurable.
George Mallory, in full George Herbert Leigh Mallory, (born June 18, 1886, Mobberley, Cheshire, England) died June 8, 1924 on the North Face of Mount Everest. His disappearance on the mountain in 1924 became one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century. His dead body was found 75 years later and answered many questions.
I will post his story tomorrow. He should not be forgotten!