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Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

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Words: 731 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jul 18, 2018

Words: 731|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jul 18, 2018

I was wandering down a typically busy hallway at my high school feeling like death. The burden of academic hardship weighed down on the shoulders of even the brightest young scholars. However, in an honest attempt to bolster the ever-thinning optimism of the student body, an irritatingly cheerful group had decided to plaster motivational quotes and messages all over the otherwise regular campus walls and structures. This was when—oddly enough—I discovered my favorite joke.

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I turned my head by chance to find a trifling piece of pink copy paper strung up on the wall by a single piece of blue tape. As a lone ornament on an otherwise regular stretch of white paint and drywall, it looked quite ridiculous—or at least fearlessly minimalistic. The paper’s faded black text unabashedly spelled out an old Japanese proverb in what looked to be Comic Sans: “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” I gawked dumbly at the message and read it several times over as other students passed me by in the hallway. I had heard the saying before, and I knew the message it tried to convey as well. It all amounted to a slightly more rustic version of “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I mused over the page for another moment or so until the punch line hit me. My pupils shrank as I stood, perpetually frozen in disbelief.

“What? How is it possible to stand up eight times after falling down only seven times? This must be a joke, right? At first glance the proverb’s message is crystal clear, but could the details have been overlooked for so long? There’s no way.” I thought with a fright.

Let’s think this through logically. One must have fallen down in order to stand up. If this is true then one may postulate that the number of times an individual stands up must be equal to or less than the number of times an individual falls down. It is a physical impossibility to stand up without having fallen down. Thus, for all intents and purposes, we can conclude that classic Japanese proverb—which may I remind you has lasted through countless generations of oral tradition—makes no sense whatsoever. Picking oneself up for that triumphant eighth time would only be possible after a decisive fall, also for the eighth time. And to think, perfectly unsuspecting individuals decorate their walls, their cubicles, their classrooms with this broken proverb as a source of inspiration all the time! “These people are being cheated!” I concluded.

Back in the hall, I was hysterical. My discovery seemed so fundamental in nature that I could not allow myself to be the only one in the loop. Frantically, I exercised the scientific method and shared my research with everyone around me. Then, the joke went viral. Some students took turns repeatedly laying on the ground and standing back up while counting the actions like some asinine dance routine. They were always flustered in the end, unable to get up for a definitive eighth time without falling once more. Others debated among each other. Small crowds gathered in hallways and around bulletin boards where printouts of the proverb were taped up. The students dissented and scowled in front of the printouts like they were wanted posters.

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Ultimately, everyone conceded to the error made by the nameless Japanese sage ages before our time, as well as the carelessness of those who let this fallacy go unnoticed since then. Even the most stubborn students, those who would recount arbitrary moments in Japanese history or squabble over the significance of the numbers seven and eight, eventually admitted defeat to the public enemy with a humble giggle. The mistake was far too grave to overlook. But soon, the calamity dissipated to complacency. What we were then left with was an entire school spattered with the printouts now deemed moot and ineffectual to an abhorrently humorous degree. Now, destitute and thoroughly undistracted, all we were left with was laughter. And while we laughed and paraded the proverb’s message through hallways and classrooms, our voices gleeful with facetiousness and irony, my thoughts floated back to the nameless club director who put the proverb on the display in the first place. The printouts had served their purpose. Our spirits had finally been lifted, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

Cite this Essay

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight. (, ). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-admission-essays/fall-down-seven-times-stand-up-eight-college-admission-essay-sample/
“Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight.” GradesFixer, , gradesfixer.com/free-admission-essays/fall-down-seven-times-stand-up-eight-college-admission-essay-sample/
Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-admission-essays/fall-down-seven-times-stand-up-eight-college-admission-essay-sample/> [Accessed 1 Mar. 2024].
Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight [Internet]. GradesFixer. [cited 2024 Mar 1]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-admission-essays/fall-down-seven-times-stand-up-eight-college-admission-essay-sample/
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