Category Archives: Perspectives

Death

death-poem-picture-by-diamante-lavendar

You think life is forever,
At least that’s how it seems;
Death is just a shadow
In your deepest, darkest dreams.

We don’t want to admit it,
Or dwell upon the pain,
But death is waiting for us
In its own destined time frame.

Death will come and take you
No matter what you say;
Your time to leave’s appointed
In your designated way.

So don’t try to deny it
Or refuse to believe it’s true;
Live your life with purpose
Until death comes for you.

-Diamante Lavendar

Flowers For My Baby

flowers-for-kelby-with-diamante-lavendar-written-on-it

I miss you. Tell me you’re okay.

Since I found you encompassed

Two weeks prior

In the gruesome sorrow of death’s embrace.

 

I never thought

That once again

I’d bury my hopes

With another child;

 

Life with you

Was fun and vibrant,

Full of feeling,

Loving, wild;

 

I know you’d want me

To be tough-

To continue on

Life’s lumbering pace;

 

To focus on living,

To cherish your memory,

To center myself on love,

Not hate.

 

Though I don’t understand

What happened that night

When the reaper came

To the call of fate,

 

I know you’d want me

To persevere,

To feel your love

From Heaven’s gates.

 

I am broken,

I am wrenched,

My aching soul

Screams your name;

 

But somehow I know

When I’m old

I’ll be in your happy

Presence again.

 

Life’s not fair,

Life’s a test

Of wading through fear,

Sorrow and blame;

 

Show me your mercy,

Send me your trust,

That we’ll be reunited

In Heaven again.

 

 -Love Mommy<3

What Is Responsibility?

When we think of responsibility, we tend to think of being reliable and doing our jobs well. Whatever it is that we do from day to day, the perception of doing it well is seen as responsibility. Also the concept of showing up when needed, being there for others and taking good care of what we’ve been given in life. But is that it? Or is there more to being responsible?

This is a topic I’ve thought about for years.  The average person considers responsibility to be a consideration only within their personal realm or space.  But what about reaching beyond your comfort zone?  Here are some other ways I’ve found responsibility to be key and essential in life.

Being a good example when no one is watching.  When you see someone drop a wallet on the street, would you pick it up and bring it to them?  That is an important aspect of social responsibility.  If we want this world to resonate on a higher level of consciousness, we are responsible to be good even when nobody notices.  Doing this passes kindness along and increases a personal level of social responsibility among ourselves and others.

Doing the right thing without expecting a reward.  Something as simple as picking garbage up off the street makes you a more responsible person.  Instead of walking past wrappers and other things tossed out of car windows and thrown over shoulders, you can choose to take it upon yourself to clean up and brighten the world around you.  Even if it’s never acknowledged, you know you did the right thing.  This will increase your personal consciousness and self esteem which always ends up rubbing off on others you know.  Even if you don’t purposely try to make them aware of your beliefs.  And when others see how responsible you are, it will motivate them to be more responsible!  (At least some of them!)

society-picture-diamante-lavendar

Being fair and extending a helping hand.  We all have moments and situations come up where we have the opportunity to help another person out who may have the possibility of hurting us.  Sometimes being a responsible person is offering a hand up with no assurance of it turning out well.  At times, it’s good to give another person the benefit of the doubt.  And if it ends up biting you in the end?  Well, at least you tried.  I’m not saying to be a doormat and allow people to walk all over you.  What I am suggesting is when you are able, knowing that if the situation would fall flat, you are still willing to take a chance, take it!  Sometimes these are the best moments in life:  moments that can not only change you but the people you’re walking out on a limb for as well.  Actions like this not only increase your personal responsibility level and your self esteem but also the personal responsibility levels and self esteem levels of those who you’ve given the chance to.  When out of nowhere if you decide to trust someone and it goes well, it’s a very beautiful thing!

Doing your part to remedy societal issues.  Society has a sad way of “passing the buck” too many times.  “Oh, they’ll take care of that,”  or “I don’t know much about that.  Let someone else deal with it,”  or “I just don’t have the energy.  It’s a losing battle anyway,”  are all excuses created to keep us from feeling responsible.  But the reality is, we can all do something with the resources we have, even if it’s something small.  It really doesn’t take much to donate a coat to a shelter or to provide a bag of groceries to someone who’s hurting.  Maybe even secretly leave Christmas gifts on a needy familys’ doorstep or fill a bag with a few essentials from a dollar store to donate to a charity.  There are ways of filling in the gap with the resources we’ve been given.  If we’d all do our part, we could create huge waves of responsibility to ripple through our communities.

Take care of our planet.  Our children inherit this planet from us.  What we do to it, they’ll have to deal with.  Why give them more pain and heartache?  Take an interest in healing this world on a physical level.  Learn more about solar and wind energy, begin to grow gardens in our yards or stop using pesticides on our lawns.  There are numerous efficient chemical free ways of dealing with issues like this.  Why spray more harmful things into the atmosphere for our children and grandchildren to breathe?  Why kill off more animals and plants and eat GMO foods that are riddled with hurtful carcinogens?  There is no good point to these types of things. And engaging in harmful behaviors only makes things worse and worse.  It’s time to start paying attention and go back to healing this planet before the domino effect of pain becomes too great for us to conquer!

Rise above destructive thought processes.  If we all close our eyes to the hurtful things going on, who is going to make it better?  We need to increase our awareness….our level of responsibility…and understand that we each have a piece in this puzzle.  If we pass all of the responsibility on to our neighbor, our friend, our senator, our president, how can we expect anything to really change?  Yes, our elected officials can make changes but nothing compared to a global realization that we can all make a difference.  Even the poorest of us!  We can grow gardens, we can stop using pesticides, we can share with our friends and plant trees and spread kindness.  There are literally thousands of things we can all do.  No matter what our socioeconomic level or level of education.  We need to pull together to make amends!

Responsibility is a way of life.  It’s a process of thinking that we need to commit to.  Responsibility doesn’t just happen.  It’s cultivated.  And if we begin to cultivate it into the younger generations, just imagine the changes it could bring!

You Can’t Have One Without The Other

There is an unfortunate tendency in our society to focus on social class and egoism. While I completely understand the differences and needs of particular social classes and the importance of individualism, when it comes to our society working together for good these tendencies cause problems.

In the study of society, or sociology, differences in society are categorized as class, race, gender and geographic location. These differences affect how people can access resources and opportunities. (Reference: What are social divisions?)

Social divisions stem from the idea that society is separated into the powerful and powerless. Those in lower socioeconomic classes have fewer opportunities for things like education, health care and employment. Those in higher socioeconomic classes have an abundance of pretty much everything. (Reference:  What are social divisions?)  For far too long, our society has valued the upper socioeconomic classes such as doctors and lawyers and undervalued the lower socioeconomic classes such as fast food workers and janitors. But the truth of the matter is, we can’t have one without the other.

celebration-by-diamante

(Celebration by Diamante Lavendar)

It is an inconceivable notion that some people are more important than others in a society that hopes to accomplish its very best in the given moment.  Yes, doctors and lawyers are important. But if society valued all walks of people more, perhaps lawyers and doctors would be in lesser demand because there would be less fighting and stress!  Who would clean the rooms and hallways of the hospitals if everyone were a doctor? Who would prepare gourmet or classic meals, create beautiful pieces of art to appreciate or music to calm the senses?  Who would make sure the factories worked correctly and that we had safe water, pipes, heat, electricity, running vehicles and amusement parks to occupy ourselves?  It takes all of us to create a happy whole.

Democracy is defined as “a system of government by the whole population through elected representatives”. (Dictionary.com).  Are we truly being aptly represented by our officials?  Everyone matters.  Every life is important.  It is a travesty and a shame when some are deemed more useful than others.  Even in the Bible it says, “There is one body, but it has many parts.  But all its many parts make up one body…..if all parts were the same, how could there be a body?”  (1 Cor. 12:12 and 19).

We all matter.  Our lives matter. Our souls matter.  Our means of living matter.  When we are each contributing positively to the value of the whole, who can truly say one is more important or meaningful than the other?  Deep down, we all need the same things and crave the same things.  I believe it’s time to value the parts of society contributing to the sum of our society’s parts.  Even Aristotle said,  “Mathematically, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, neither more nor less.” Then psychological Gestalt theory took it a step further, stating that “The parts, when working together, are able to achieve an outcome superior to one or two people working alone.”   (PubMed.gov:  The whole is more than the sum of its parts:  Aristotle, metaphysical).

I know Aristotle was onto something but I believe the Gestalt theory summed it up beautifully. If everyone worked together in harmony and synchrony, wow, what an amazing society this would be!

How Can Love Bring Healing Into Relationships?

A focus on hate in society can be debilitating. Many believe that to stand up for what is right, an argumentative attitude is necessary. Unfortunately, argumentative attitudes only further complicate things. Many mistakenly decide that force may be required to change minds. But like Martin Luther King, Gandhi and other humanists have realized, hate only begets more hate.

In order to find some type of middle ground or resolution, love must be brought into the equation on some level. Why? Following are some great reasons!

lay-down-your-weapons-by-diamante-lavendar

1.  Love increases compassion and empathy.  Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune”. (Dictionary.com).  When people enter into conflict with a sense of compassion, they feel the pain of their adversary.  It makes them realize how they would feel if they were in their adversary’s shoes.  Compassion is essential in bringing about change during times of conflict.  Likewise, empathy, “the psychological identification with feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another” (Dictionary.com) is also essential in bringing about change.  Until we can understand what someone else is going through on a personal level, we truly don’t know why change needs to take place.

2.  Love promotes more discussions and less arguments.  How many times have you tried to “get down to business” when anger is coloring your perspective?  Anger is like a flame that burns anyone who gets too close.  Anger is a natural facilitator of arguments.  It is nearly impossible to be objective when the flames of anger are burning bright.  Love, on the other hand, makes us more capable of being objective, thus facilitating more discussions.  And it is possible to have discussions without anger being involved.  It’s perfectly okay to agree to disagree-and much healthier than fighting, too!

3.  Love helps us to identify with an adversary’s perspective.  When we are able to identify with another human being on the level of humanity itself, anger is automatically driven to the background.  When we realize that we are all essentially searching for the same things on the level of being human, we experience unity and forgiveness.  Unity and forgiveness are critical in bringing about essential, peaceful changes.

4.  Love creates an atmosphere of acceptance.  When the kindness and compassion of love enter any picture, an atmosphere of acceptance is cultivated.  This is a widely understood topic even by giants in the movie industry (like Disney) with thousands of movies being centered around the topic.  Even children’s movies (one of my favorites entitled Brave)  speak of not only accepting others but also accepting ourselves….a beautiful mindset with a ton of benefit!

5.  Love reduces pride.  Now don’t get me wrong…pride in itself is not a bad thing…unless it is allowed to become the predominating mindset.  An inflated sense of pride causes us to believe that others owe us something.  Some synonyms of pride are conceit, egotism, vanity and vainglory.  (Dictionary.com).  How many times have you tried to reason with someone that is convinced they are overly important and you owe them the world?  It is darned near impossible to reason with people like that.  What is the outcome of vanity and an inflated self concept?  Argument!  And usually arguments with those types of personalities don’t turn out very well!

6.  Love increases a sense of value and worth among people.  Let’s look at the definition of love.  Perhaps I should have earlier, but the definition proves this point.  Love is “a feeling of warm, personal attachment or deep affection as for a parent, child or friend.”  (Dictionary.com). Love is easy when it comes to those closest to us.  It comes naturally.  But when you’re talking about your enemy, it can be much trickier.  Love with strangers and acquaintances is a decision, a life style you choose to lead.  It is responding with dignity to someone who you may not necessarily agree with.

I created a quote a while back that said “Lay down your weapons; embrace and be one; Forgiveness will reign when the battle is done.”  I got some backlash about this one!  But my meaning behind it was “Treat others with respect, as you would like to be treated.  Only then can you mend broken mindsets and societal patterns.”

How can we expect to find peace among the dissension when we aren’t even willing to lay our differences aside?  It’s impossible.  It will never happen until we make the decision to live with more loving attitudes!

7.  Love increases understanding.  When someone comes to you with a request, you must have a sense of understanding about what they’re talking about!  Love cultivates a sense of understanding.  That “aha” moment when we realize what someone else is going through makes all the difference in the world when it comes to us accepting them and being more loving.  Love breaks down barriers, arguments and all forms of hate and prejudice because it allows the beautiful knowledge of understanding to emanate among the souls of those discussing different scenarios and situations!  Understanding definitely diffuses arguments!

8.  Love promotes respect.  The nature of love is the nature of respect.  And the nature of respect requires that respect be given in order for it to be received.  When you respect someone, you care!  You listen, you lend a hand, you really want to make a difference!  That’s what love is all about!  It is impossible to say you love someone or want to make things better for them and yourself without experiencing some form of respect.  Respect is a precursor for the kind of caring that meaningful change requires.

9.  Love promotes hope and possibility.  With hate, there is little to no hope involved.  There is pain, anguish and agony.  With love?  Well, there is the hope of a better future because people are willing to discuss problems and understand each  other’s situations!  Hate leads to discouragement.  Hope leads to enlightenment!

10.  Love promotes a sense of responsibility.  Hate?  Well, it creates an environment where people feel helpless.  They become despondent and stoop to lower types of emotions and interactions such as apathy, anger and resentment.  Love creates a sense that everyone can make a difference.  When we each believe we can make a difference, our sense of personal responsibility rises.  So what’s better for our society?  Helplessness or an increase in caring and personal responsibility?  I think that one is pretty self explanatory!

The truth is we can make a difference.  Each and every one of us.  Even if we only influence one other person for the better, think of the ripple effect that can have on an entire society?  And the reality is, most of us are able to affect more than one other person.  Many of us are able to affect hundreds of people throughout our lives depending on where we work, where we live, who we associate with, where we go, etc.  Love is a powerful force for more reasons than those I just listed above.  If we all make the choice to embrace it, what a beautiful world this would be!

 

 

 

You’re Much More Special Than You Think!

Are you aware of the numerous things that make you, you? What would your answer be if I asked you what makes you special? Some of you may look toward the ground and say, “Not much. My fingerprints, I guess.” Others may exuberantly proclaim, “Everything about me!” Who’s right? Let’s explore the topic further!

For those of us with a “Pollyanna perspective”, we’d happily exclaim,  “Why, it’s my personality and the way I look!  Also the way I think and my unique traits like my fingerprints!”  Crazy thing is, these optimists are correct…and then some.  Not only is our appearance something that sets us apart, but there are other things that do too.

If your argument is “we’re all human and we’re all alike”, you’re correct.  But we’re all also different and that’s the beauty of life.  We are all truly unique.  Not only because of the above reasons but also because of several more.  First, our DNA:  the most important reality of this blog post.  Obviously DNA reigns supreme when it comes to pulling us apart at the seams, quite literally.  DNA evidence obliterated everything when it came to crime scene investigation and litigation.

But what else is there?  Well, our tongues for one.  Because our tongues are kept safely in our mouth (or not so safely, depending on what we talk about), our unique tongue prints are kept intact.  How would that work though, when asking for prints?  Could be a bit challenging….

youre-special-by-diamante-lavendar

Then there are our ear lobes.  Instruments have been created to illuminate our earlobes to help in identifying us.  And it’s pretty conclusive.  Strange, eh?  I remember my grandmother being obsessed about earlobes….she was obviously onto something….

Many of us probably know about our retinol capillary patterns being individually unique.  Such is the reason for eye scanning equipment in high security areas.  But what about our irises?  Also very unique to each individual because “the color and structure is genetically linked, but the details of the pattern are not”.  Hmmm….this gives more meaning to “looking deep into your loved ones’ eyes”…..

What about how you walk?  Have you ever given thought to the way your body moves?  Well, that’s another way to determine individuality!  Not just your legs but your entire body, how you sway and put pressure on your feet, etc.  Makes me wonder about those of us who trip or fall off balance….can that be studied, too?  (Just a joke to make you smile!  Watch out for that rock…!)

Our voices and lip prints are also unique markers of who we are.  I don’t know about you, but I can just imagine a police station:  someone comes in and is asked to be lip printed.  I  don’t think that would be a fun scenario for the officers on duty.  Do you?  Could make for an interesting day, though.  🙂

Judge:  Step forward, please.  I understand you are being held for theft?

Defendant:  Yes, your Honor.

Judge:  Would you care to share your side of the story?

Defendant:  Yes, your Honor.  I walked into the store, leaned against the glass case and left my finger prints.  Then I saw something… an amazing watch in the case…. and looked more closely, accidentally brushing my lips against the glass.  Stunned, I stood up and found myself staring directly into the eyes of the clerk.  As she asked me if she could help me, I cut my finger on the edge of the glass case.  She gave me some kleenex and I wrapped it around my finger, thanking her profusely.  Then she showed me the watch.  I put it on my wrist, starting to walk back and forth in front of a nearby mirror to admire how it shined against my skin.  I tripped over a chair near the mirror and the watch fell off my wrist, landing on the floor and shattering.  I freaked out, went back to the case where the clerk stood with her mouth agape, and offered to pay for the watch.  Flustered, I paid her and then began walking out of the store.  Without thinking, I grabbed a scarf and dabbed my forehead then shoved it in my back pocket.  Immediately, upon leaving the store, I was apprehended.

(This person is doomed!  Not only because of all the evidence left behind, but also because of the security cameras!)  There.  Hope I made you laugh at least a little.  So this has not only been an informative post which I think I could safely call ‘Interesting’, but also ‘Humorous’.  Where will I post it?  Probably ‘Interesting’.  But I digress….

As for the point of this post, you are unique for so many ways that it would be pretty much impossible to deny it.  And there are so many intriguing things about you that make you unique that you must admit, there’s got to be an overall purpose to this!  So enjoy being you and know that nobody out there can fill your shoes-scientifically or from a humanitarian standpoint. Namaste!

References (Quite Seriously):

Quora:  What Things Are Unique To A Person Besides A Fingerprint?

Medical Daily:  Special Snowflake:  4 Things (Other Than Your Fingerprints) That Make You 1 In 7.2 Billion

What Does Falling In Love Do To Us?

Everyone loves the feeling of being in love. But what does love do to us? To answer that question, I’ve done some research!

First of all, the feeling of love is caused by chemicals in our bodies. Dopamine, vasopressin and cortisol flow in large quantities through our brain, making us feel that “high, fluttery feeling” when we’re around the person of our desire. So, technically, love is a drug!  Or maybe better said, love itself is an influencer of bodily (hormonal) drug activity!  (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

You may say, wait!  Cortisol?  I thought that was a stress hormone!  Well, it is.  But…cortisol is also responsible for many good things in body function as well such as controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism and reducing inflammation.  It assists with memory and helps fetuses grown in women during pregnancy.  (That is, if you’re still in the lovey dovey phase! (Hormone Health Network:  What Does Cortisol Do?)

love-quote-by-diamante-lavendar

Many times people say they feel different when they get involved with a new lover/relationship. And in a way they’re onto something.  The hormones present in your body when you’re in love create feelings similar to those of people with manic depression.  It is almost as if you could conquer the world.  As if life is different, vibrant and new.     (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

For these reasons, love is a good thing.  But, if we get dumped or break up with our lover, the opposite can happen.  When we are rejected, pain centers in our brain light up when we look at a picture of our ex.  We also can experience having a broken heart ( a real condition called stress induced cardiomyopathy) which has the very extreme and rare possibility of killing its victim.  (Thought Catalog:  19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)

“Broken heart syndrome” can strike even if you’re healthy.   Luckily, though, it isn’t common.  The symptoms of stress induced cardiomyopathy are almost identical to those of a heart attack.  It is unknown how many people actually die from this condition but there are eleven documented cases in which Johnny Cash was one of them.  (Thought Catalog:  11 Documented Cases Of People Actually Dying Of A Broken Heart).

Love can heal and it can hurt.  It is my opinion that we are better for having loved because it expands us and enlightens us in our daily existence of being human.  Though the pain can be pronounced, the positive effects are worth the extra effort!

I Think I Can!

Have you ever heard someone tell you to be more positive? Have you been told to try to achieve a more positive attitude? I know I have. Years ago when I was younger I had a horrible attitude. I was negative and felt like nothing would ever go right. My life was rough and it took its toll on me mentally and physically.

But I have changed my attitude. And I’m writing this blog to tell you why you should try to be more positive. There are numerous wonderful reasons for changing your perspective from “I know I can’t” to “I think I can”!

positive-attitude-blog-post

Reason #1: It has been said that a positive attitude will increase your life span. Guess what? It has been proven! People with a positive attitude generally live 7 1/2 years longer than people with a negative attitude. What a great incentive right there!

Reason #2: People with a positive attitude have less stress. Not because life sends less stress their way, but because they choose to perceive it in a different manner than negative people. Positive people do what they can to change things and accept what they can’t change. They actively participate in life and this gives them a happier perspective.

Reason #3: Positive people deal with hardships more effectively because they realize “this too, shall pass.” They know that hardship doesn’t last forever and they take little steps each day to bring something positive into their lives during times of hardship. They know how to cope more effectively until better days come by taking responsibility to make good things happen while they are burdened by suffering. Positive people focus on good not bad.

Reason #4:  Positive people have a reduced risk of heart disease!  Stress takes a toll on the heart.  Therefore, less stress equals less heart problems.  Having an attitude of gratitude keeps diseases at bay.

Reason #5:  Positive people have an increased immune system.  As I mentioned above, an upbeat attitude lowers your risk of disease.  Happier people get sick less…even with the common cold!  Happier people produce more antibodies than unhappy people.  They also produce more serotonin-a chemical in the brain-which decreases depression and increases a feeling of well being.

Reason #6:  Positive people age more slowly.  During studies, it was found that positive people stayed mobile and thought more, engaging in frequent tasks that increased memory and body function.  Because they had a “can do” attitude, their bodies responded with “I think I can”!

Like the Little Engine That Could, so are we.  Much is left to our mental state.  If we choose to be positive, we reap the rewards that a positive life brings.  I’d rather have those rewards than sitting around expecting the worst…and getting it!

Resources:

Mayo Clinic:  Healthy Lifestyle:  Stress Management.

Science:  How Stuff Works:  Is There A Link Between Exercise And Happiness?

Scientific American:  How Happiness Boosts The Immune System.

Live Science:  Happier People Keep Healthier As They Age.

The Huffington Post:  Do Positive People Live Longer?

Birthdays

Birthdays are a special time. We are so used to celebrating with cake, friends and family that we usually don’t think much past that. But birthdays are so much more. Here is a video I created entitled What Is A Birthday?

Birthdays are a special day because they mark the beginning of our existence.  They are a reminder of how long we’ve been walking this earth.  Why not take a birthday to another level by making it a “new birth” point for the future?

Think of your dreams and goals.  Your plans.  What have you always wanted to be?  To do?  Why not make a resolution on your birthday to make those things happen?  Reflect on how far you’ve come then make a pact with yourself to go even farther toward your destiny!  What a wonderful “extra” way to celebrate each year when your birthday rolls around again!

If you know anyone who’s having a birthday soon, pass this along!  Maybe they’ll be inspired to give it a try!

Hardships Are Stepping Stones To Better Things

Nobody likes hardship. Not only does it put a “kink” in our plans, but it hurts. As human beings, we want to shy away from pain. But hardships are a part of life that we must accept because they’ll never go away. Here are some reasons to embrace hardship:

light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-edited

Hardship strengthens our spirits. Although hardship is grueling, it creates resolve in us. It paves the way for our determination to increase. After going through a tough situation, we become more empowered and want even more to accomplish those goals that might have seemed much more difficult to reach before we endured the pressure of hardship. It makes us just a little more resolved to face life with determination.

Hardship makes us appreciate good things more. After going through a spell of extreme discomfort, even the small things seem much more meaningful. For example, even in a situation where your car is in the shop for a week, once you get it back you’ll be so much happier that you have a means of transportation. And the bigger the hardship, the greater the appreciation after it’s all over.

Hardships give us wisdom.  Think back ten years.  Think about what you’ve gone through to get to where you are today.  You’ve got to admit…you’ve learned a lot!  You’re so much wiser for the things you’ve been through that you can see your hardships as stepping stones to your dreams!

Hardships help us endure.  After you’ve been through the wringer, you’ll have a tendency to say, “I got through that.  I can get through this.”  When you get through one trial, you’ll have more faith that you’ll get through the next one.  It’s a matter of learning that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  As the saying goes, “this too shall pass.”

Hardships are a way to communicate with others.  We are more empathetic towards other people’s pain after enduring hardship.  We relate to each other and are able to be more helpful toward each other after enduring difficult things.

Hardships help to give us freedom.  Many times hardships have to do with things we fear.  After going through the problem, we become a little less fearful.  Like the Little Engine That Could, so are we when we walk through the fire and come out a little freer from our pain and fear.  That’s a beautiful stepping stone to future success and happiness!

Next time life gets rough, remember:  you’ll learn a lot and be happier once you graduate from the test.  You’ll be stronger, wiser, more determined, more empathetic and appreciative!  All perfect ways to be more successful in the future!