Bird Droppings November 19, 2012
Adversity is a bridge not a stop sign
“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.”Robert Fulghum
It was perhaps two days ago two years ago one of the teachers at school in an email to all staff mentioned another member of our staff had been diagnosed with breast cancer. If anything I have found in my sixty three years of living in this reality of life, is that we as an organism are resilient. In my time wandering about I have been carried through the hallways of a polio ward observing other children in iron lungs in one day and gone the next. Yet somehow in that doom and gloom of that era we survived. I have witnessed firsthand the human travesty of mental institutions as a chaplain counseling inmates who never will leave the confines of the walls and bars that held them contained. Then sadly many were released to perhaps a crueler world in that of homeless America when so called budget cuts were made.
“We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.” “A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.” Authors Unknown
As I came through college and a war in Viet Nam so many of my friends died while I gained knowledge. Yesterday in my travels we watched the sun rise and set all in a day. So often we get absorbed in the issues the problems and do not see what lies ahead or that something can lie ahead around the turn in the road.
“The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.”William Shakespeare, Othello
Life continually throw curve balls, be it physically mentally or emotionally and it is in learning to hit a curve ball where in lies the secret and not succumbing to the throes of human defeat. Of course when you learn to hit curves the pitcher in life may throw a slider. There is not a day goes by I do not see the words of this great woman since they are spread in printed quotes on the walls of my class room.
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”Mother Teresa
There is a bit of humor still in Mother Teresa’s stoicism and humility. Few people ever bear witness to the images that beset Mother Teresa daily as she walked the streets of Calcutta.
“We acquire the strength we have overcome.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
A simple thought but adversity does bring strength and gives us the understanding we need to take the next step or to simply breathe that next breath of air.
“You can’t run away from trouble. There ain’t no place that far.”Uncle Remus
I recall Uncle Remus from the Disney’s cartoons based on the characters and produced nearly eighty years ago. Even in the Madison Georgia home of the Uncle Remus’ characters you see the Disney art work. In life far too often we run away trying to avoid dealing with issues and there is no place far enough eventually it does catch up I can speak personally to this one.
“Enduring habits I hate…. Yes, at the very bottom of my soul I feel grateful to all my misery and bouts of sickness and everything about me that is imperfect, because this sort of thing leaves me with a hundred backdoors through which I can escape from enduring habits.”Friedrich Nietzsche
A day or so ago a comment was made about over achievers those that are forever dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”. In my world I call that an obsessive compulsive disorder. Listening to a speaker the other day who was being perfect, as they spoke I was thinking obsessive compulsive not perfect. Understanding our frailties and weaknesses can make us strong.
“If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don’t embrace trouble; that’s as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.”Oliver Wendell Holmes
Perhaps it is in acknowledgement of trouble that we can overcome. It is true we learn, we grow, and we do develop a capacity to overcome adversity.
“The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it, whether he’s got an abscess on his knee or in his soul.” Rona Barrett
“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.”Garrison Keillor
So often we fret over things that in truth are simply a part of life and fretting will not take it away it is in knowing how to deal with and living with that makes the difference.
“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.” Erich Fromm
You have to get through the trials before you can savor the victory.
“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”Jewish Proverb
Perhaps the most powerful quote today as I look back in my own life and that of those of friends and family. If we all looked at life this way what a world we would have perhaps there would be no more whiners.
“Sometimes the littlest things in life are the hardest to take. You can sit on a mountain more comfortably than on a tack.”Author Unknown
Such a good illustration as I ponder that one in my mind and how true. The big issues we seem to deal with but those sharp tiny ones sneak in there and stick us in the butt.
“How can something bother you if you won’t let it?” Terri Guillemets
“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” Frank A. Clark
“As long as you keep getting born, it’s alright to die some times.” Orson Scott Card
“Bad is never good until worse happens.”Danish Proverb
Even though the smooth pavement is so much easier to travel on I do prefer a bump now and again to keep me awake. I was thinking of the ripples alongside the interstate highways before bridges they really do wake you up thinking back to younger days and driving straight through from Georgia to Pennsylvania over the weekends to see friends. In life sometimes we need a ripple or two to keep us going.
“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”Walt Disney
Walt Disney was one of the great optimists of our time. Back in the day he had the vision to see pine flats, orange groves and swamp and envision a city, an amusement park unlike anything ever built before. As I look back all from drawing a little mouse.
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” Arthur Golden
“There’s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out.”Lou Reed
From Eastern thought the yin and yang, opposites that need each other so you can truly see what each is. That black and white we can call the contrast of life.
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”Mary Engelbreit
So much of life is how we see it and what we do about it. A new week please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and as I head into a holiday week thinking of close friends who need our support and concern as they deal with the pieces of the puzzle that life has provided to them. May peace be with you all and may we all give thanks especially in this week of thanksgiving namaste.
Wa de (Skee)