Friday, March 21, 2008

If You're Blue...

A good friend and fellow Captain pulled me to the side yesterday. He said he wanted to tell me what his mother had often told him -- that there is a purpose to everything. My friend, who works as a middle school teacher back home and is suffering terribly too, emphasized that perhaps we weren't here at all for ourselves but to help other soldiers here. He gave some examples.

I thought his words were inspired. It reminded me to stop thinking of my own worries and look for opportunities to serve.

At age 19 when I began a two-year volunteer mission for my church, someone related the following poem to me:

If you're blue
Find something to do
For someone who
Is sadder than you.

This morning I awoke with great comfort and peace. It's a new day and it's up to me to decide to be happy and to choose my attitude -- to accentuate the positive.

At some point this morning I thought of Viktor Frankl who suffered the worst deprivations and humiliations in a Nazi prison death camp. He survived to write:

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. (Man’s Search for Meaning, 1959, p. 86.)

Those are words to live by.

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