This is an autobiography assignment I wrote for a bogus required class called “Living Skills.” I got a C on this; I didn’t “provide enough concrete examples.” Different people different tastes, I guess…
The viridian hills rolled on past the furthest reaches of visibility. Great trees studded endless mounds; the occasional sharp crag – standing sentinel over colossal battles of ancient times – shrouded the landscape with a mystic aura. If magic exists, or ever existed on this globe, surely it would be in this place. As if born out of the hills, massive mountains curtain the skyline. The archaic well springs which line the primordial cwms bring one to the very roots of their creation, while towering ridges rocket one to an intangible future. Far in the distance a red lion ripples on a yellow flag as the wind meanders through the grassy Welsh hills carelessly. These broken bluffs of Wales are the stomping grounds of our hero, Ryan the Griffiths. The Griffiths was no ordinary Welshman – no, not in the least bit – the son of a Welsh warlord and powerful far-eastern mage; Ryan was nature’s enigma. Legend has it, Ryan was never born; he ascended out of the pits of Hell, escaped the deathly grip of Mephistopheles, and crawled out of a crack in the ground on these Welsh hills. His parents, perhaps, were the only two who knew of this tale’s falsity. Upon his birth, they knew Ryan would be the only name suitable for their young wonder. In his father’s Gaelic tongue, he was the little king. In his mother’s dialect of the far orient, he was a peaceful storm.
His people were simple. Upon the rippling flags of their territory, the Griffiths’ lion crest read Fir matas et sanitas. “Strength and sanity.” Those two words best describe Ryan and his people’s way of life. Somber fog and gnarly winters left Ryan with mental fortitude; the singing and drinking-games – socializing – with his kinsmen bring him ultimate levity and the highest of comradeship. Because of their power and mental clarity, the Griffiths all are laid back and relaxed – they see it impossible to be anything but that in their sublime homeland. To Ryan and his people there is no need for edginess; they know when push comes to shove, end results mean nothing, but the lesson learned proves to be most valuable.
With perseverance, the Griffiths trampled his enemies before him. Failure was Ryan’s best tool; it succeeded only in making him stronger – more experienced. Not only did failure educate him, but it also presented Ryan with a challenge, a reason, a purpose in his actions. Ryan thrives off of his failures, aiming to twist them into success. Karma made the utmost sense to him because he knows what goes around comes around. Never will he steal because he does not want to be stolen from. Never would he be aggressive towards those undeserving because he would slay the fool to treat him with such insolence. Responsibility relentlessly guided Ryan’s thoughts, for he controlled his destiny. If Ryan were to say he wasn’t responsible for his actions, he feared who was. His shortcomings were never met with petty excuses. Faith empowered him. Faith in himself, in others, in something. Ryan never doubted himself, and treated his allies with the trust and loyalty he felt he had earned himself. Individuality ruled Ryan, or more like Ryan ruled individuality. With his mind, his imagination, his creativity, the Griffiths followed his own path. This is what kept him going through the heat of battle, the agony of defeat, the pain of torture; Ryan would let no bounds of society cage him from his soul.
Ryan’s strengths all lie within his morals, within his power to follow his morals. To Ryan the warrior there was no option other then to follow his beliefs. Ryan would willingly fight to his death for his freedom, for what made him happy; this craft forged the integrity of his strength. Ryan gets his strength from one question – a question that will remain burned into his memory for eternity. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it? Ryan knows with the right mind-set no human can be stopped; it is this knowledge that makes the Griffiths a destroyer of Herculean brawn. Perhaps it is his knowledge and understanding of his weaknesses, which make him strong as well. Every man has a dark side and Ryan can see through abysmal black with ease. His weakness festers in his own head and as he lie in bed trying to sleep, he chants the Irish proverb perpetually: Is í ding di féin a scoileann an dair. “It is a wedge of itself that splits the oak.” Ryan stares at his monsters everyday, even sits and has a cup of tea with them, yet they are the only beasts he cannot defeat. The Griffiths’ inabilities to deal with his weaknesses manifest his true problem.