Life comes at you in waves, some up, some down. Yesterday Christine and I had a few surprises that are going to be challenging. Sometimes, when you’re skipping along the sidewalk a bully comes along and pushes you into the mud. While life deals you unexpected challenges, it is your choice how you frame them.
Sometimes people rob us. Sometimes bad stuff happens to us, sometimes to people we love. But wallowing in resentment and self-pity is self-destructive, and vengeance and violence create more injustice. The only good answer is… deal with it (however you must) and move on.
We’ve become a society of whiners who panic at the slightest setbacks. Things are happening right now that may change that mindset for many generations. One of the best things that came out of the Great Depression were ethical business leaders who were grateful for the opportunity to add value to the world.
Today, too many people are focused on what they can get, not what they can give.
I was talking to my father last night. He grew up on a farm in northern Minnesota during the Great Depression. He said many times during the 1930s his family went months on less than 25 cents. Roosevelt sent agents out to slaughter their cattle without compensation (the government wanted to reduce the supply of cattle to increase prices – it didn’t work). Eventually the government took their farm because they couldn’t pay their taxes.
Many years before the government killed my Grandfather’s livestock and stole his farm, he was drafted into the First World War and gassed on the battlefield. He survived, but it almost killed him. His lungs were reduced to 50% capacity and all his teeth fell out. He had recurring bouts of illness over decades where he spent months in the hospital while my Grandmother ran the farm and raised four boys.
You know what? They lived to be over 90 and I never once heard them complain about how hard they had it. In fact, they thought that life was amazing.
I recall my Grandmother’s first airline flight and how she couldn’t stop talking about how amazing it was.
When we open our eyes, we see that life is truly amazing, how blessed we are, and that happiness is a choice.
This video brings that message home:
I found this video via Mark J. Perry who publishes the economics blog CARPE DIEM. I love economics. But what I love most about Mark J. Perry’s blog is how he consistently finds economic news that is POSITIVE. Thanks for the good news Mark!