The first six months of this year have been memorable - make that indelible as a result of a string of personal and local disasters. In January, I dislocated and broke my ankle while very carefully walking in the snow. Within a week I had to take an assignment in the remote frozen north of Canada. Since that first grueling trip I have had the continual “opportunity” to gain first hand knowledge of the challenges (and some victories) facing people who live in a world of wheel chairs, crutches and pain medications.
Once off crutches, splints and “meds,” and while on R&R in Australia, I limped along a beach only to receive a painful foot wound on a hidden object in the sand and viola, both feet were bunged up. Upon returning home, we were greeted by downed trees, power outages and “fried” home electronics, the collateral damage of storms that swept the Midwest in our absence. Shortly thereafter a hacker brought down my computer systems with an especially nasty virus making my travel and business presentations very difficult.
During this same period I witnessed far worse tragedies in my travels: Massive flooding in Australia; Inundated farmland and homes in the Mississippi River basin of the United States; Tornado devastation near my son’s living area in Mississippi; Total forest fire destruction in sections of northern Canada.
Why do these things happen? Could it be that there are adversities in our lives to determine if we can get over them properly? As experienced adults we may no longer be surprised by fiery trials, because strange things have happened and continue to happen to us. But, it is more difficult when, try as we may, we cannot shield our children from their own trials.
In life it seems we need to rise to the occasion and do what the trial demands of us. And as parents we need to teach our children about this fact. I have found out that struggles which are an inevitable part of my life are not resolved by my complaints, but by learning and applying an internal vitality to face anything that comes my way. I never could dictate demands to my father, nor can I make demands on what life brings to me, and so many others have it much worse than I.
Without a doubt I need to get beyond complaining and self pity and carry on working through the adversities. And, by the way, it sure helps that we have a small community of wonderfully supportive friends and work associates around to help. When they come to our aid it is a personal pleasure to thank them for all they do for us. And then I look for opportunities to return the favor to them or to someone else. In this world of trials and tribulations there is always someone in need I can reach out to and assist.