Life brings many different types of circumstance our way. Someone once said “The problem with life is it happens, daily.” And we react to those circumstances in many ways depending on if we deem them to be good or bad. Often we react to bad situations in a negative manner, and this usually results in more negative circumstances. But even the good circumstances can be reacted to improperly. The new job promotion can make us proud and haughty, like we are now someone more important than others. The same can happen with all our success. How we react to our situation is what is important. It is more important than what happens around us.
“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.”- John Ruskin
The recognition for a job well done is not as important as what happens in us. If we handle our circumstances improperly we will never become the person we could be. Like the army slogan “be all you can be” If we are to be the best that we can be how we respond to the circumstances that happen around us is critical. If we consistently respond poorly we will never grow. And our personal growth is really what is important. If we aren’t growing and developing then we can never better ourselves and we will always remain selfish and ignorant. It is often how we respond to the situations in our lives. We determine what should be happening to us, by our own standards, and then either get upset that what should be happening isn’t or get proud because we are finally getting what we deserve. How we develop and grow is determined by our responses to our circumstance.
Someone once said ‘It is not what happens to us that is important. What happens in us is what is important.” Only we can decide to either grow or remain the person we are now. Only we can decide how we handle our circumstances. It is not the fault of our circumstance, nor is it the fault of anyone else that we are the person we are today. To often the way we grew up, or the way our parents treated us, or the school we went to, or the friends we had are blamed for the life we live. An alcoholic father would say to his kids “If only you were better behaved I wouldn’t be drinking.” or the addict blaming his habit on being abused as a child. And yet the same circumstance can happen to two different people and one will rise above the situation and become better and the other will choose to remain and become even more bitter.
It is not what happens to us that is important. We can determine how to handle ourselves. It is the only thing we actually have control over in our lives. The sense of control we fight for is an illusion. We can control nothing that happens around us. We can only control what happens in us. We can choose to see the bright side of life, the glass half full, or the negative, the glass half empty. It is our choice. The great people we admire and look up to all rose above their circumstance to become better people and achieved fulfillment in their lives. It really is up to us. No one can make us become better. The question really becomes then will we become better, or will we become bitter.