It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us (Stephen Covey).  There are some things that happen which we have little or no control over.  The effects of these things are not to be discounted.  On the other hand, our response can make it better or worse and the most lasting effects of a situation is, in fact, the result of how we respond to the original circumstance.  A simple example is rain on the day of a planned outing.  I can cancel the whole outing on account of rain (and blame the rain).  On the other hand, I can choose to continue with the planned outing with a few adjustments taking into account the rain.  I can take an umbrella, I can take a poncho, or I can change what I plan to do on the outing (go to a museum instead of the zoo for example).  The rain happened yet it really was my response to the rain that ultimately affected how that day went for me.  This is the point in the conversation where someone (maybe even you) will argue an exception or some horrific event that, of course, will create a negative outcome in my life.  I don’t, by any means, disregard that events do happen beyond my control that do have a negative impact on my life.  I still maintain, however, that my reaction to the event will have the ultimate power over how badly that event affects me and my life.  I can take any circumstance I have to endure in any manner I choose.  I can decide to fall apart at the seams and lay prostrate on the ground until I die of starvation.  I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and make the best of whatever situation I have to deal with.  I can laugh, cry, scream, or remain silent.  These are within my control and these I do not empower others to dictate.  If you slap me I can slap back, walk away, file charges, or turn the other check.  While I don’t have control over you and many other aspects of life–I do have the ability to control myself and how I decide to let the rest affect me.  I did not say it is easy and I do not promise I will always be a role model of grace and poise.  I do insist, however, in owning myself, my life, and my circumstances and, to the best of my ability, I will overcome what I have to when I have to and when possible will grow and learn in spite of others worst wishes or evil intent.


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