Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein
If we are going to be good at something we also have to be a novice at it. We will struggle and make mistakes, we will feel foolish and unskilled, and we might never feel like we’ve mastered the challenge to our satisfaction, and that might be the best way to feel.
There will come a point when our best work is not still ahead of us, but if that point is later in life it might be better for us. It might be best if we go through life and find new challenges. I think of Mom with most of her quilts being created after she turned eighty.
I’m thinking about what challenges I might take on after eighty. It is sobering to become the oldest generation but once our parents pass we become the oldest generation. Do we feel wise enough to be the oldest generation? As we become the oldest generation we are supposed to be wise and forward-looking, depending on our age now, that might happen sooner or later, but if we live a long life it will happen. We will become the patriarch or matriarch in our family.
We will never be ready to take on the mantle but we will rise to the occasion because there is no other choice. We might not be growing up with enough sense of duty, we think our choices only matter to our own lives, but our choices and other people’s choices create the society we live in. If we want a better society better choices have to be made by someone, but if we always expect someone else to make the better choices, and not ourselves, we have no power.
If you can stay positive in a negative situation you win. Anonymous
The only power we have in life is to improve our own life and that of our family, and when everyone improves, society improves. If we do the right thing, other people might choose to do the right thing, but waiting for everyone else to do it first is how nothing changes. This could be picking litter off the street, not dropping it in the first place, or treating others with respect, kindness, and fairness.
We don’t live in a perfect society, and we never will, but do we appreciate how good it is? Can we continue to live in peace and relative harmony without letting the conflicts in the world come between us? Can we continue to build a better society, or do we think the best times were the times of our youth, because it was the best time for us, our whole life was still ahead of us instead of more behind than ahead for many of us.
What we do for the society we live in is not just for us, it is for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren and further down the generations. We are setting up the future for generations to come, it won’t be all good or all bad, and I’m not sure we know which is which.
I pray that one day when I pass the mantle onto my son and daughter, I feel good about where we are and what we’ve done as a society. The sum of the improvements we’ve made and the mistakes at least balance out. Perhaps every generation lives in the best of times and the worst of times. Our challenge is to make the best of the worst, not the worst of the best. This might be the challenge of our lives to make the best of the worst, to improve what can be improved, and to accept what we can’t change.
Never let a bad situation bring out the worst in you. Choose to stay positive and be strong. Unknown
The bad news: Nothing is permanent. The good news: Nothing is permanent. Lolly Daskal
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Eckhart Tolle
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