AttitudeIn The Traveler’s Gift, President Harry Truman tells David Ponder, “You have chosen the pathway to your present destination. The responsibility for your situation is yours.” After hearing David’s story, I definitely agree that David’s choices contributed greatly to his unfortunate state. He made some risky decisions that ended up costing him his job, wealth, and family relationships.
I hesitate, however, to say that every person’s state is based solely upon the choices they have made. I believe that certain circumstances are out of human control. For instance, a family in a minivan has no control of the the drunk driver of the pickup that swerves into the wrong lane. Orphans have no control over their lack of parents. Rape victims have no control over their rapists. Victims of a hurricane have no control over the weather.
An unbelievably complicated combination of elements play into one’s state. Both controllable elements and uncontrollable elements. I believe that one’s reaction to an uncontrollable world is the only way to truly change his/her life. An optimistic attitude and inner fortitude is crucial to surviving life’s blows and emerging victorious.
The power of attitude is remarkable. I have heard several accounts of people who have had extremely difficult lives, but have worked hard and succeeded in finding joy. One example that stands out to me is Nick Vujicic. Nick has no limbs because was born with tetra-amelia syndrome. Although Nick struggled physically and emotionally, he was able to find a purpose in his disability. He started a non-profit organization called Life Without Limbs and presents motivational speeches worldwide. “No limbs: no limits” is Nick’s motto.
I am incredibly inspired by people like Nick who take circumstances they can’t control and transform them into something better. While choices play a large role in one’s situation, one’s reaction to the uncontrollable elements in life is what truly determines a person’s abundance or lack of happiness and success.