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Breathe Magazine – Issue 54

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In this issue: A moment of contemplation – Sunny side up – In tune with the times – Hand in hand – Nature’s bounty – Stranger things – Pointing the finger – Monumental design – Behind the scenes – Perfectly average

Some words are heavy with negative vibes. Take ‘quit’. A pithy verb that, for many, is a synonym for failure, suggestive of a lack of stamina, talent or resilience. Even the phrase ‘Quit while you’re ahead’ hints at an element of good fortune that’s about to run out. But maybe quitting gets a bad press. Maybe it’s misunderstood. Maybe the reasons why people choose to quit are overlooked or, occasionally, ignored.

Few make the decision to leave behind a job, partner, friend or even pastime without serious thought. That goes for people of all abilities no matter where they stand on the ladder of perceived success or how much time and effort they’ve invested in a relationship or project. There are often conflicting emotions – a desire to try to achieve more, for example, might co-exist with the recognition that a much-loved project would benefit from someone else’s fresh ideas. Excitement about doors to open might mingle with sadness at the one actively being closed.

There are times when hanging on in there is absolutely the thing to do – author Joanne Harris once posted that she’d received so many rejections for her novel, Chocolat, that she’d made them into a scuplture. (The book went on to be a bestseller and was later adapted for the big screen.) But never changing course isn’t the most effective option for everyone.

Quitting can be constructive and beneficial, on a personal or professional level (or both). Staying in an unhealthy relationship or job, for example, takes its toll on body and soul. Those who wish and are able to quit such situations are brave and resilient. So, perhaps it’s time to recognise quitting doesn’t equal failure (witness tennis champions Serena Williams and Roger Federer, who recently exited the professional game). It’s a decision based on many factors, among them a desire for growth and change. But whatever the reasons, those who quit often need support.

Let’s be there for them.

Cover Illustration: Hye Park

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