Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The wheel of fortune turns round incessantly, and who can say to himself, I shall to-day be uppermost. Confucius

The wheel of fortune is the ultimate symbol of chance and luck. We may hope for fortune’s spin and think anything is better than this. In my lifetime the spins have been mostly good. How must it have looked to the generations that lived through the first world war, followed by the Spanish flu, then the crash of 1929, the great depression, and then world war ll? This is what my grandmother lived through and then she got cancer and died in 1953 at age 53, and she was motherless at an early age because her mother died in childbirth. I wish I had the chance to know her.

Is getting through tough times just putting one foot in front of the other? What makes some people thrive and others give up during tough times? I was listening to a talk the other day and I’m not sure who said, “Many of our greatest companies have been developed during hard times.” Robert Schuller said, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

Jim Rohn tells us, “Don’t ask for things to be easier, ask to be better.” Can we create a mindset that helps us deal with the hard parts of life? Does faith in something bigger than us help? If we can trust in the process of life, believe that better is coming, spring is following winter, and sunshine is following the rain can we continue moving forward? Do we become hopeless when we think it will never get better, is this when we give up?

The wheel is come full circle. William Shakespeare

Our society offers people lifelines, but they don’t always take them, and maybe we don’t have enough of them but aren’t some of the greatest stories of people who overcame great adversity? We never want it to be our story, but if it is, we need to do what we have to do to overcome the situation and come out on the other side. Stories of people overcoming challenges help us know we can overcome them too.

We want life to be easy for our children, but easy lives create weak people, and no one wants their children to be weak. Hard times create strong people, strong people create good times, good times create weak people and round and round we go.

It wasn’t long ago we were hearing people lament that the population was growing too fast, now we have people lamenting the population will decline too much. Is there not a happy medium? Are we always on the alert for doom and gloom, but is this better than not being ready to meet the challenges that might be coming? Isn’t it better to be equipped to face a challenge that doesn’t arise than not being equipped for those that do?

Winter is a metaphor for the dark and hard times of our life. Being prepared for winter is being prepared for those times. There are hard winters, easy winters, early winters, and late winters. If we are snug and warm, well-fed, and safe, winter isn’t a huge problem.

When spring comes we need to plant our seeds. If we don’t plant in the spring, and harvest in the fall, we will have to beg during the winter. It’s a hard truth, but if we work with the cycles of life, life will be easier for us, than if we are out of sync with the cycles. There are big cycles and little cycles in our lives.  Sometimes people we think are out of sync move in a different cycle than us. We need to manage the cycles in our life, and let others manage the cycles in theirs.

Winter is coming and so is spring. Are we prepared for both?

The wheel of fortune… tells us that we all only want victory. We all want to triumph. But we all have to learn to endure what comes. We have to learn to treat misfortune and great fortune with indifference. That is wisdom. Philippa Gregory

His success may be great, but be it ever so great the wheel of fortune may turn again and bring him down into the dust. Gautama Buddha

Withersoever the wheel of fortune turns, virtue stands firm upon her feet. Benvenuto Cellini

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