It’s easy to forget (during rush hour traffic, after waiting in line for what feels like hours, when you’re sick, when you’re tired, when you’re just sick and tired…you get the idea) how good we really have it. No one wants to admit it, but we’re really pretty spoiled. We are often like a child who is given a cookie and then asks for two instead. When we don’t get that extra cookie (or, God forbid, don’t get a cookie at all), we tend to throw the adult version of a temper tantrum. We pout. We complain. We make excuses. We have forgotten how to be thankful for what we have.
Even when we are facing true difficulty, chances are there are others who face worse. Consider Lila, who is 3 and has already been through 30 surgeries for an irreversible condition, or Diego, a 12-year-old who was struck by a stray bullet and has defied all odds of recovery. We should be thanking our lucky stars that we (most likely) don’t have to face those extremes of difficulty. I would be willing to bet, though, that both families have found hidden blessings in their difficulty – strengthening of family ties, the unexpected support of community, or a new-found appreciation for the things that are truly important in life.
Besides, that old saying about lemons and lemonade is true – most of life’s challenges can make you miserable or make you better. The choice is really up to you. When you fall, what do you do? Our first instinct is often to complain. I would like to challenge you (and myself – I’m not off the hook either) to find some good in your bad situations. Often there are some sneaky silver linings you don’t see at first. Give it a try. Once you do, things seldom seem as bleak as they did at first. What seems to be a dreary fog of bad luck may simply be the wrappings of a “gift”.
The next time you fall, consider the words of Thomas Wayne to young Bruce Wayne…
“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”