Hugo downplays the significance of the victory on June 18, 1815 by the English/Prussians over the French, and even stipulates that the loser has more to gain. He writes of the greater aspects of a nation that are but little affected by the skirmishes of the armies. It seems to ring true that the temporary victories of an army do not last in the nations politics, and reasons for war are soon forgotten.
When one political party takes control of government, the power is secured for a time, but there comes with this privilege the burden that something positive must be accomplished or else comes the political backlash. And there seems to be always an appetite for political division and strife which will be satisfied no matter how much apparent uniformity is perceived by the power sharers. The key seems to be leadership and forward progress.
It is true in personal life that the apparent defeats often lead to precipitous victory in some parallel world of events. As a co-worker remarked yesterday, “the one thing that you can count on about the future is that it will change faster than you expect.” And often, change (even if it is perceived as defeat) indeed has represented an opportunity.
The paradox: So once again I am led to the conclusion that the point is not about the results, but about the process. Yet, we must focus on delivering the results in order to fully engage in the process. Simply talking about the process of handling the ship leaves one without wind for the sail. The beauty is then in being self-aware as we engage in the battles for what we realize is a only temporary victory at best. It is this self-awareness that makes the difference among men. And the true self-awareness is a gift, not an intelligence. It is revelation.