Some people seem to have more happiness and opportunities, and others much less. Indeed, life can seem neither fair nor equal.
Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.
Why is it that life is so hard for some and so much easier for others? Some people seem to have more happiness and opportunities, and others much less. Indeed, life can seem neither fair nor equal.
There may not be a single formula or step-by-step recipe for peace and happiness in this life. And that's good, because no one's life is so predictable that it always sticks to the script. A little improvising is often needed. Besides that, each life is as different as each individual. But there are noticeable patterns that can teach us how to cope with life's difficulties and challenges.
We see such patterns of strength all around us that we can look up to. The mother who suddenly finds herself single does her best to go forward, even though her life has been turned upside down. The dad who has lost his job but somehow stays positive and strong even in the face of rejections and setbacks. The young adult who tries to stay kind and soft-hearted in an often harsh and hardened world. The accident victim who knows that his life will never be like it used to be but does his best to adjust to the new normal.
What is the consistent pattern in people like these? They certainly weren't blessed with a life of ease or a smooth path. But they all hold on to the hope that things will work out and someday get better. Instead of counting their grievances or asking, “Why me?” they remember their blessings. Instead of focusing their thoughts and conversations on what they don't have, they choose to recognize what they do have. Rather than being consumed by disadvantages and problems, life's unfairness and unevenness, they look for — and find — the good in their lives.
It's a simple pattern, really. If we focus on what we have rather than what we don't have, we begin to discover the real richness of life. Blessings are not discovered by accident; they are revealed to those who seek. In fact, if you look for patterns of strength and endurance in your own life, you'll begin to find that you are stronger than you may think.