Lately a number of friends, family members, and ‘virtual’ fellow travelers have suffered setbacks. Some minor (sore bike butt) and some extremely serious (hospitalization, head trauma, multiple broken bones, etc.) At first I wondered if there was some recurring theme, a risk factor that I needed to watch out for (it’s always ‘all about me’, isn’t it?) But there is no trip wire, floppy rug, banana peel, or faulty Toyota accelerator pedal connection as far as I can tell.
On reflection I have thought about how these setbacks can affect a person psychologically as well as physically. Some of these things really are life altering events and will be the thing that’s remembered when folks think waaaay back to 2010. In this I am pleased to say: I associate with people of uncommonly high mental resiliency. (I could take a lesson, … once again with the ‘me’ thing)
Who knows what differentiates those who are defined by their issues vs. those who defy them? One thing I have come to appreciate greatly is this: It is not the setback, dilemma or challenge that matters. Shoot, we have little or no control over these events (ok, you can deal with that floppy rug). This is life, it comes along, like floating down a river, the landscape changes; sometimes slack water, sometimes boiling rapids, but it’s just the canvas, the backdrop. What defines a person is not the events, it’s how you choose to deal with the events.
I find myself in good company; lots of great role models, people who choose to go out and meet their challenges, to influence the outcome, who make conscious, thoughtful efforts to find the best way to get down the river. How’s that old saying go? “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is taking action in spite of it.”