"If you want to live you have got to get off the beach"
In World War II when the Marines invaded the Pacific Island of Iwo Jima which had been converted into a fortress by the Japanese, the Marines attacked the island from the sea by landing craft.
The Japanese who were dug in underground in caves and pillboxes waited until the Marines were safely ashore and disembarked from their landing craft and then they unleashed hell. All of their guns were pointing at the Marines on the beaches.
The young Marines almost panicked and they hugged the ground for cover. Many of them were only 19 years old. John Basilone a marine veteran rallied himself and began to bark out orders at the young Marines. He said "If you want to live you have got to get off the beach" and he rallied and motivated the Marines to clear the beachhead and move inland.
The Marines started moving forward and did not get stuck on the beaches. They established an attack and allowed the follow on troops to land on the beaches too.
John Basilone died on Iwo Jima. The Marines took a further month to conquer the 8 square mile island. 7000 of them died and 20000 were wounded. It was the most vicious battle the Marines had ever fought.
It occurred to me that is a parody of life. We can so easily get bogged down in fear and in defensiveness. We can so easily give up. The most important step is to GET STARTED. To get off the beach. We need to get started to bring our life into order. To accept responsibility for ourselves. To see our self through to the finish. The journey is difficult and dangerous. But the first step is the most important one.
With determination we can see it through to the end.
The Humility, The Pride and The Humiliation.