Waxing Philosophical and Puppy Love

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself.” ~Walter Anderson

You know you are getting older when you hunger for knowledge the same way you did as a kid. I had a (dare I say) very large portion of my life where I didn’t want to learn anything. You know, somewhere between 13 and 25? Now, I have learned tons from people in that age bracket so I won’t say all people in that age group are know-it-alls, it’s just an age where you probably have the tendency to think you have it figured out IF that possibility should arise. ;)

(perhaps in 10 years from now I will learn that I was being condescending right there...lol)

I was always taught by my Mother to read for joy. Mom presented books to me as though they were a candy store selection. She would assist me through Shakespeare and would encourage me to not be so intimidated. She would point out phrases that she thought were silly, funny or pretentious and would always say, “What a ridiculously spectacular time these people lived in”. Mom was the ultimate people-watcher, non-judgmental and ecstatically marveled at human nature with an infectious laughter. Her nose was always in a book and I was envious of how she could read when a storm was going on around her. She viewed it like a fantasy or an escape from reality. She simply loved to read.

Teachers taught me to read so I could “get ahead” in life. It was imperative that I not be left behind with just the illiterate but also the uneducated and lazy. “You will never amount to anything in this life without reading everything!” My Mother would also laugh at them and shrug it off.

Well, thankfully I do like to read because without Mom’s enthusiasm, I would probably have been turned off the teachers’ presentation.

The quote I started with is a phrase that for some reason shows its face to me at every corner. Maybe it’s like if our favorite animal is a dog, we look for them everywhere in the city. (oh no, not speaking from experience…hahahah) Maybe the quotes, phrases and words that are directly corresponding to our situation pop a bit more because we look for them. Perhaps unlike the puppy love, we search for an answer to our misfortunes. (or IS getting a puppy the answer to my, er I mean OUR misfortunes?)

It’s like when you are going through something difficult, you want to hear a friend say what you already know to be true…just a stronger opinion that will guide you to doing what your gut already knows. The quote above comes to me so often, I wonder if I am supposed to just put it on my fridge. Maybe I should rearrange the words like those magnets and see if it’s telling me something else. Or quite simply, it may just be something I need to hear over and over and over…
Storm-proofing may sum up most of my life so far. Preparing my character may absorb more time than anything else. I am reaching a point though where I am rather enjoying it, much like how Mom would have presented it. I’m becoming like a scientist eager to see how it’s going to play out (or is that more like a child?) It’s good to know (like Mr. Anderson suggested) the reality is that bad things happen and how I react is the issue, not the incident itself.

‘Immobilized’ is a key word in his quote. Exactly how does a person move ahead without being mobile? That seems like a silly question, right? Something’s broken…it won’t run! If you peel back all the layers, you’d find out that is trickier for most people when the answer is apparently simple! Maybe because none of us are auto-mechanics. We don’t have the knowledge required to fix what’s under the hood.

I have known for a while now that it’s the reaction which is crucial, but this man was definitely right in one part of the quote for sure. We are able to CHOOSE. In my many, many readings of it, I just nicely recognized that the most significant part is “choose to rise”. We may not have the means right now to change a grave situation, but we are ALWAYS able to at the VERY LEAST choose how we deal with it and how we react to it. (which I do believe the VERY LEAST, becomes the VERY MOST) ;)

Isn’t still having the ability to choose one of life’s most amazing gifts? We aren’t robots! We are loved! We can still choose. I believe the fact that we are given this present is the ultimate reward.

Thank you Mom; for distracting me from the educators who could have turned me off of reading. I don’t know what I would do without my love for words.

Eagerly awaiting the next life lesson…who knew learning could be so fun?
Karen :)

I also love this one by him too;
“Our lives improve only when we take chances - and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” ~Walter Anderson

OOOOOH check this afterthought ….Ok, back to the puppy thing, how about this, Puppies do not bring happiness, I will bring THE PUPPY happiness. Someday…everything I have learned will culminate into making some unfortunate little puppy-pauper the KING of my castle. :)

How is that for the meaning of life? ;)

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