“The Tao can’t be perceived. Smaller than an electron, it contains uncountable galaxies.” –Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu (Stephen Mitchell translation)

“Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” -Joshua J. Marine

I was thinking a little deeper on yesterday’s post about bonds. I started wondering what exactly are the electrons that the atoms share in common? Do the atoms actually decide among millions of electrons which one they’d like to bond over? What’s that process like? Is it like dating or a job interview? I went down some fun rabbit holes including this article and this one.

I started thinking about covalent bonds among humans. Then it hit me. My A-ha moment.

Metaphor alert! Metaphor alert!

Human beings are the atoms.

The electrons are the struggle.

When we as individuals decide to do hard things (aka “electrons”), we form a bond. We come together. We’re united in the struggle. And this bond remains for life.

On a personal level, three things immediately come to mind…

One…my marriage to Amy and us raising a family together. I am the luckiest guy in the world.

Two…graduating from The University Of Chicago (nickname: “Where fun goes to die”). The lasting friendships I’ve made as a result of all of us going through four grueling and academically rigorous years.

Three…the plays I’ve done with Vs. Theatre Company. We pick tough plays that demand a lot. They ask for a pound of flesh from the actors and all the artists involved. But they’ve been magical and incredibly rewarding experiences. I’m still close with so many people from these productions. In some cases, two decades later.

Don’t be afraid to do hard things. Lean in to the struggle.

The reward for your courage?

The people, the electrons, the bonds you make along the way.

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