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Monday, June 06, 2011


“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”


Plato's quote is appropriate for today's topic. Often, we tend to think that we are the only ones with problems in this world. It is easy to become upset if someone cuts us off on the freeway or cuts in front of us in a line we have been standing in for an hour. It is also easy to feel a little down or sorry for yourself, when you have just had a bad fall, or you are in the middle of a "slide" not knowing when it will end and to what degree you will recover. Then, all it takes for reality to set back in is a situation like Haiti, the oil leak in the Gulf, a friend tells you they have cancer, etc.; I believe you get the idea.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" (by Harper Lee) is a great story and a wonderful movie. I remember Atticus telling his children they need to "walk in someone else's shoes before judging the person." Everyone is fighting his or her own personal battle and until we understand the other person's particular situation, we should not be pre-judging him or her. I believe these moments are important (opportunities) because they are lessons in life designed for our personal growth. How we respond to these challenges is an individual decision and based upon a number of factors. We might do well one time and totally blow it another time. If we can recognize that everyone "is fighting a hard battle," it makes it easier not to react to a given situation in a negative manner. 
I also believe that "nothing comes into existence uninvited." Everything that happens in my life is a potential learning experience depending upon how I respond to the situation. I further believe that these erroneous beliefs and misconceptions that I still carry with me are being tested repeatedly until I eventually understand and accept reality. If I react negatively to someone's actions, it is because I still have not fully accepted that everyone (including the person I am upset with) is fighting his or her own personal battle. 
I received an email from a friend the other day. It was one of those canned messages, but after reading it I thought it would fit nicely with today's topic. The quotes are from Maya Angelou, a well-known and respected author and poet.
I've learned that
no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today,
life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I've learned that
you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:
a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I've learned that
life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that
you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.
You need to be able to throw something back.
I've learned that
if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.
But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others,
your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I've learned that

whenever I decide something with an open heart,
I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that
even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
I've learned that
I still have a lot to learn.

 The "life goes on, and it will be a better tomorrow" comment above is similar to one of my favorite sayings, "This too will pass." My father use to remind me "it is not the end of the world" when I would over react to something negative that happened. Even though I did not want to hear it at the time, he was always right.  In addition, the "decide something with an open heart" comment above goes hand-in-hand with Plato's quote that "everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Just recognizing that everyone is being tested in his or her own unique way makes it easier to "accept the situation and move on (turn the other cheek)."

Ms. Angelou has many wonderful quotes and sayings. One I particularly like is "a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." I hope you understand I am singing today even though I still do not have all the answers.
One thing for certain, "I still have a lot to learn." By the way, I do not do well with tangled Christmas tree lights.