A Piece for when Times are Tough

Without a doubt, human survival is tough. I do not just mean physical survival, but survival as a human being—as a creature capable of love, compassion, sympathy, and reflection. When we are tested, especially during the darkest hours of our lives, our capacity to perform and exhibit these characteristics dulls. We are not as eager to accept, not as easy to empathize with, and not as quick to love. When life puts us through certain series of events, being as human as possible is hard. We begin to count reasons why we can’t instead of reasons that we did, see our days ahead as a task rather than an opportunity, and see the wrong before we see the good. These tendencies to view mistakes before miracles, is no testament to our character, but rather a test. If we look at them the right why, they are a means to a beginning and not to an end.

We begin to define ourselves at the very moment we make the conscious decision to shift our vantage point, for as much as negative experiences play a role in defining us as people, they do not define us. Negative experience cannot define without the action that follows—these experiences set the stage, merely providing a backdrop while act. For what defines us as people is not what we go through, but how we go through. It is the ways that we, as people, decide to react to the negative that has happened to us that makes us ourselves. So let us not dwell on the events that precipitated our development into the people we are, but let us be defined by the heart and spirit that it took to envision morning during night, hope when all was hopeless, and life when we had none. Just as our good moments pass, our darker ones do too, for time is time, whether good or bad, and the speed of the clock refuses to change despite the color of the hand.

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