Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how our life’s story will develop. Dieter f. Uchtdorf

Yesterday we went to the baptism of our daughter-in-law’s sister’s baby. She was not impressed with the event but we were thrilled to meet this little person. Last Thursday our grandson turned two. It is wonderful to be surrounded by babies. I won’t amass the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren my mother did but if I can create happy memories for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and leave them with a belief that the future can be as good for them as it has been for us, that is my wish.

On our way home our trusty truck sprung a leak in a hose and steam was spewing everywhere. A young man came up to the truck to tell us we had a problem. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because even this problem happening on our way home from the event happened at a better time than it could have. It could have happened on our way to the event and ruined our day, or happened when we had our grandson in the truck.

As our son and daughter-in-law drove me home, and my husband went with the tow-truck driver my son said, “I am thankful every day for the life I have.” He told me he gave a lift to a homeless man on Saturday and heard his tale of woe, and from the sounds of it, when things could get worse, they got worse, and people our tax dollars pay to help, aren’t doing a very good job. Some of the people down on their luck and homeless would accept help, but it seems real help is not easy for them to get.

Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Unknown

I’m not in the trenches, I don’t deal with the homeless, but I’ve heard stories, maybe we are trying to help the ones that don’t want to be helped, while the ones we could help to get back on their feet we let slip through the cracks until they too are beyond the little bit of help that would have been needed to tip them back into a life that would give them pride of independence.

We say we give people help, but when we speak to the people who are supposed to be receiving that help, we find they have to fight against a system that appears to kick them when they are down, withhold payments they are entitled to until we take all dignity away from them, and then we wonder why they become bitter and defeated. Is there a communication problem between those helping and those needing the help?

This is a tale told to me by my son, of a homeless man asking him if he thought he could get a job in the industry my son is in. He would need some training but it is an industry looking for workers and skilled work with a future. If he gets a hand up will he take it? How many people we see are looking for a hand-up, not a handout? How could we use the money we spend on the homeless to make a real difference? Are we making a real difference now but not hearing the success stories?

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate. To have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller

Be someone’s strength. Be someone’s inspiration. Be someone’s reason to never give up. Unknown

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