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Quote of the Day: Choosing

 

“When you wake up each morning, you can choose to be happy or choose to be sad. Unless some terrible catastrophe has occurred the night before, it is pretty much up to you. Tomorrow morning, when the sun shines through your window, choose to make it a happy day.” – Lynda Resnick

For me, the best thing about 2018 is that it is almost over. If I have had a worse year, I cannot recall it. My wife died, my father died, and my father-in-law (a man I have respected for nearly 50 years) will likely die before the year is out. I had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night because of difficulties breathing. I have had money and job challenges.

Despite all that, when I wake up each morning I choose to have a happy day. More often than not, I succeed.

In spite of setbacks, my life is still more good than bad. My first grandchild arrived this year. I learned that I have at least one friend I can call after midnight to take me to the emergency room; a friend who not only will take me, but stay with me until I can go home, and whose wife calls later that day to see if I am okay. Despite financial alarums and excursions, all my bills got paid, and there is still money in the bank. I have a roof over my head and food on my table. I have family and friends who care.

We all have troubles. Yet we all have blessings, too. Too few people focus on their blessings instead of their troubles. In the absence of a terrible catastrophe the night before (and I have had several of those days this year) I choose to focus on my blessings.

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There are 40 comments.

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  1. Member

    Yea but the Steelers lost last night. How can I be happy ?

    • #1
    • December 3, 2018 at 5:39 am
    • 5 likes
  2. Member
    Seawriter Post author

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Yea but the Steelers lost last night. How can I be happy ?

    Simple. Your choice.

    • #2
    • December 3, 2018 at 5:41 am
    • 11 likes
  3. Member

    Hard to feel happy when you are alone most of the time, and nobody calls or comes. However, did find old friends this past week, a real blessing, and I am grateful.

    • #3
    • December 3, 2018 at 5:49 am
    • 12 likes
  4. Contributor

    Mark, you’re a trooper. Was the trip to the hospital a false alarm? With all the stress you’ve had, I hope whatever you experienced has passed. Here’s to a more peaceful 2019 for you, and for all of us. And here’s to good friends; we can’t take you to the emergency room, but we care.

    • #4
    • December 3, 2018 at 6:00 am
    • 8 likes
  5. Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Was the trip to the hospital a false alarm?

    No. I had contracted a sore throat. Although I had seen my doctor and gotten antibiotics (it proved to be bacterial), I ended up doing a lot of coughing until my throat literally closed up. (There is nothing I know more terrifying than not being able exhale.) By the time I went to the e-room the bacteria was dead, (The tests when I went to the doctor were positive; at the e-room they were negative.) It was simple to treat. (Basically they painted my throat with an anesthetic and had me gargle one for a week after I went home.)

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Here’s to a more peaceful 2019 for you, and for all of us.

    The best thing about 2018 is it is likely as bad as a year can get and next year and the following years are going to be better. The only likely outcome that will be worse is one I won’t have to deal with.

    • #5
    • December 3, 2018 at 6:22 am
    • 12 likes
  6. Reagan
    iWe

    Thank you for this.

    There is an old chassidic sentiment that a Jew who does not have tzuris (troubles) may not be Jewish after all.

    We can choose to see challenges as G-d’s way of pushing us. If G-d is not challenging us, then maybe we don’t have a relationship with Him!

    I choose to see it this way.

    And I only worry about the things I can work on. I sure would like to be out of the current woods, and on to a more fun form of challenge!

    • #6
    • December 3, 2018 at 6:28 am
    • 17 likes
  7. Member
    Seawriter Post author

    iWe (View Comment):
    We can choose to see challenges as G-d’s way of pushing us. If G-d is not challenging us, then maybe we don’t have a relationship with Him!

    My view is God never gives us burdens greater than we can bear. He does occasionally give us burdens greater than we think we can bear, but that just means we must rethink the problem.

    • #7
    • December 3, 2018 at 6:38 am
    • 16 likes
  8. Member

    This is so important, and it’s my main philosophy of life, and it’s something I’ve told my daughter over and over. There are people who can turn a bad hair day into a Greek tragedy, and people who suffer deaths and illness and worse, yet find a reason to smile. I’ve had times when the best thing I could come up with was “Oh well, at least I don’t have leprosy!” but hey, I got that goin’ for me.

    • #8
    • December 3, 2018 at 6:49 am
    • 13 likes
  9. Member

    Until 2018 it was typical for me and mine to say something like “sure glad to get 2017 in my rear view mirror. Glad it’s over”

    I’m not old but I’m certainly getting older. I thought, Good Lord. On my death bed am I going to be saying : sure glad that’s over?

    So for 2018 I took a completely different tact. Wasn’t grateful that a year was over and expressed hope and promise for the new year. 

    What a disaster. Not a total disaster, but several events that made getting out of bed and facing the challenges difficult. 

    What do I have to say about 2019? Not a word. For once in my life I am shutting the hell up. 

    • #9
    • December 3, 2018 at 6:51 am
    • 12 likes
  10. Coolidge

    Seawriter,

    2018 has been a terrible year for me, as well. I won’t go in to all of the reasons, but it has been, personally, the worst year of my life. I like your attitude, and have tried to have the same, myself. Keep the faith, hombre!

    • #10
    • December 3, 2018 at 7:02 am
    • 11 likes
  11. Member

    Thanks for being an inspiration. The line about God not giving you problems you don’t have the strength to bear is my second favorite God quote. The favorite is “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

    • #11
    • December 3, 2018 at 7:23 am
    • 12 likes
  12. Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Thanks for being an inspiration. The line about God not giving you problems you don’t have the strength to bear is my second favorite God quote. The favorite is “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

    Vectorman is gonna hate you for not putting that up as a quote of the day. He has lots of openings this month.

    • #12
    • December 3, 2018 at 7:30 am
    • 10 likes
  13. Thatcher

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    Vectorman is gonna hate you for not putting that up as a quote of the day. He has lots of openings this month.

    Here is the ‘”Official Ad:”

    There are many openings available on the December Quote of the Day Schedule, the easiest way to start a conversation on Ricochet. We’ve even include tips for finding great quotes, so join in the fun and sign up today!

    • #13
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:10 am
    • 4 likes
  14. Member

    Abit of wisdom from Haim Shapira:

    There once was a king who was wise, generous and humble. One day he asked his court philosophers to find him the world’s wisest sentence – one whose words would be so wise that it could match every situation, make you happy when you’re sad, and sadden you a little when you’re too happy. The king wanted to have it engraved on his ring.

    After contemplating this request for three days and nights, the sages returned with the following, very wise and most precise insight:

    “This too shall pass.”

    The king had it engraved on his ring.

    • #14
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:11 am
    • 8 likes
  15. Member

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Abit of wisdom from Haim Shapira:

    There once was a king who was wise, generous and humble. One day he asked his court philosophers to find him the world’s wisest sentence – one whose words would be so wise that it could match every situation, make you happy when you’re sad, and sadden you a little when you’re too happy. The king wanted to have it engraved on his ring.

    After contemplating this request for three days and nights, the sages returned with the following, very wise and most precise insight:

    “This too shall pass.”

    The king had it engraved on his ring.

    Ah, this reminds me of a poem I learned in childhood from a book of my parents’ (what kids used to do before the internet):

    Even This Shall Pass Away

    Once in Persia reigned a king,
    Who upon his signet ring
    Graved a maxim true and wise,
    Which, if held before his eyes,
    Gave him counsel at a glance
    Fit for every change and chance.
    Solemn words, and these are they;
    “Even this shall pass away.”

    Trains of camels through the sand
    Brought him gems from Samarcand;
    Fleets of galleys through the seas
    Brought him pearls to match with these;
    But he counted not his gain
    Treasures of the mine or main;
    “What is wealth?” the king would say;
    “Even this shall pass away.”

    ‘Mid the revels of his court,
    At the zenith of his sport,
    When the palms of all his guests
    Burned with clapping at his jests,
    He, amid his figs and wine,
    Cried, “O loving friends of mine;
    Pleasures come, but do not stay;
    ‘Even this shall pass away.’”

    Lady, fairest ever seen,
    Was the bride he crowned the queen.
    Pillowed on his marriage bed,
    Softly to his soul he said:
    “Though no bridegroom ever pressed
    Fairer bossom to his breast,
    Mortal flesh must come to clay –
    Even this shall pass away.”

    Fighting on a furious field,
    Once a javelin pierced his shield;
    Soldiers, with a loud lament,
    Bore him bleeding to his tent.
    Groaning from his tortured side,
    “Pain is hard to bear,” he cried;
    “But with patience, day by day,
    Even this shall pass away.”

    Towering in the public square,
    Twenty cubits in the air,
    Rose his statue, carved in stone.
    Then the king, disguised, unknown,
    Stood before his sculptured name,
    Musing meekly: “What is fame?
    Fame is but a slow decay;
    Even this shall pass away.”

    Struck with palsy, sore and old,
    Waiting at the Gates of Gold,
    Said he with his dying breath,
    “Life is done, but what is Death?”
    Then, in answer to the king,
    Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
    Showing by a heavenly ray,
    “Even this shall pass away.”

    –Theodore Tilton

    • #15
    • December 3, 2018 at 8:23 am
    • 12 likes
  16. Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Yea but the Steelers lost last night. How can I be happy ?

    Simple. Your choice.

    You must be a Cowboy fan.

    • #16
    • December 3, 2018 at 9:12 am
    • 2 likes
  17. Member
    Seawriter Post author

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Yea but the Steelers lost last night. How can I be happy ?

    Simple. Your choice.

    You must be a Cowboy fan.

    I am from Houston. Not a chance.

    • #17
    • December 3, 2018 at 9:25 am
    • 6 likes
  18. Member

    The key to happiness is gratitude. This video sums it up.

    https://www.prageru.com/videos/key-unhappiness 

    • #18
    • December 3, 2018 at 9:30 am
    • 3 likes
  19. Thatcher

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    The key to happiness is gratitude. This video sums it up.

    https://www.prageru.com/videos/key-unhappiness

    (Hopefully the correct video)

    • #19
    • December 3, 2018 at 9:40 am
    • 5 likes
  20. Reagan
    iWe

    The question for me is why gratitude makes on happier?

    My answer is that gratitude forces us to connect with G-d and with other people – and connection is what our soul craves most of all.

    • #20
    • December 3, 2018 at 10:22 am
    • 8 likes
  21. Member

    Great attitude, Seawriter. I have always been an optimist. I like to think that at our lowest point, things can only look up. And in “looking up” (to our Creator), we may find the hope that sustains us.

    • #21
    • December 3, 2018 at 11:17 am
    • 5 likes
  22. Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Great attitude, Seawriter. I have always been an optimist. I like to think that at our lowest point, things can only look up. And in “looking up” (to our Creator), we may find the hope that sustains us.

    The irony is I am a pessimist. Always have been. And some days are bad. But getting up and choosing to be sad doesn’t improve things. So I try to focus on what is good.

    • #22
    • December 3, 2018 at 11:48 am
    • 7 likes
  23. Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):
    We can choose to see challenges as G-d’s way of pushing us. If G-d is not challenging us, then maybe we don’t have a relationship with Him!

    My view is God never gives us burdens greater than we can bear. He does occasionally give us burdens greater than we think we can bear, but that just means we must rethink the problem.

    And in any case, how much suffering is actually worse than life being boring? Kirk was right: We humans are built to have challenges to overcome.

    • #23
    • December 3, 2018 at 3:21 pm
    • 6 likes
  24. Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Great attitude, Seawriter. I have always been an optimist. I like to think that at our lowest point, things can only look up. And in “looking up” (to our Creator), we may find the hope that sustains us.

    The irony is I am a pessimist. Always have been. And some days are bad. But getting up and choosing to be sad doesn’t improve things. So I try to focus on what is good.

    And as a pessimist, you have a greater chance of being PLEASANTLY surprised .🙂

    • #24
    • December 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm
    • 8 likes
  25. Member
    Seawriter Post author

    aardo vozz (View Comment):
    And as a pessimist, you have a greater chance of being PLEASANTLY surprised .🙂

    True, that.

    • #25
    • December 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm
    • 3 likes
  26. Member

    I am so sorry about your medical scare. Good to know life is giving you blessings too.

     

    • #26
    • December 3, 2018 at 4:40 pm
    • 1 like
  27. Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):
    We can choose to see challenges as G-d’s way of pushing us. If G-d is not challenging us, then maybe we don’t have a relationship with Him!

    My view is God never gives us burdens greater than we can bear. He does occasionally give us burdens greater than we think we can bear, but that just means we must rethink the problem.

    And in any case, how much suffering is actually worse than life being boring? Kirk was right: We humans are built to have challenges to overcome.

    That was recurring theme in the old Star Trek TV series.

    • #27
    • December 3, 2018 at 4:45 pm
    • 4 likes
  28. Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):
    We can choose to see challenges as G-d’s way of pushing us. If G-d is not challenging us, then maybe we don’t have a relationship with Him!

    My view is God never gives us burdens greater than we can bear. He does occasionally give us burdens greater than we think we can bear, but that just means we must rethink the problem.

    And in any case, how much suffering is actually worse than life being boring? Kirk was right: We humans are built to have challenges to overcome.

    That was recurring theme in the old Star Trek TV series.

    And on Ricochet.

    And this aspect of ST’s humanism comes up elsewhere in ST.

    • #28
    • December 3, 2018 at 6:10 pm
    • 2 likes
  29. Thatcher

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):
    We can choose to see challenges as G-d’s way of pushing us. If G-d is not challenging us, then maybe we don’t have a relationship with Him!

    My view is God never gives us burdens greater than we can bear. He does occasionally give us burdens greater than we think we can bear, but that just means we must rethink the problem.

    He also, sometimes, allows burdens that are too big for us to bear alone; encouraging us to let others help in the carrying. Blessings to you, @seawriter!

    • #29
    • December 3, 2018 at 9:49 pm
    • 5 likes
  30. Member

    Oh, Seawriter, Bless you. 

    Even when the clouds are in the way, the sun is still there. 

    I hope your children and grandchild bring you bright sunshining days.

    • #30
    • December 4, 2018 at 12:47 am
    • 6 likes
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