An old friend of mine in her 80’s recently died peacefully in her sleep.
She was born with a rare genetic condition, Turners Syndrome. It's a form of dwarfism and she only grew to 4’7“. She had one kidney, webbing around her neck and difficulty with her joints. She was also unable to have children, but my friend never spent a day of her life feeling sorry for herself and would never have thought of herself as disabled.
She was a goer. She grew up in country Victoria Australia then moved to Melbourne in her early 20’s. She lived at a youth hostel and found a job at a telephone exchange. Next, she sailed to London to experience the 60s. After two years in London, she migrated to Canada and worked as the cook at the Institute for the blind in Vancouver.
When she returned to Australia, she worked at an Outback cattle station in Queensland, travelled across the Nullarbor Desert to Perth and finally settled down in Melbourne.
She helped with community events, did line dancing. She had a full life. She was endlessly generous with her time, always cheerful and had a smile for everyone she met. She was a bright light in my life – a light that went out at a dark time in the world.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time“, said Frodo.
“So do I”, said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
… Lord of the Rings
I would like you to remember that going forward. It is not for you to ask why you live in this terrible time, but it is up to you to make good use of your time. It is never useful to feel sorry for yourself. Remember that our parents’ grandparents survived wars and depressions and didn't spend a lot of time grumbling.
I love that message you see on social media: “Your grandparents were called to fight in world wars. You're being called to wash your hands and sit on the couch. Don't stuff it up!”
And just because you felt stuck or not unable to do what you wanted to do when you wanted to do it, doesn't mean you couldn't still be useful.
I have a friend who is a nurse, one who is a doctor, one who is a police officer and one who is an aged care worker. They had to work every day and I frequently send them messages of support and love and thanks.
Yesterday I stopped and thanked the woman at the supermarket checkout for serving me during the difficult time we were all going through. She said “Oh, Don't, then teared up.
Make sure you thank every person who serves you in a shop for still being there for you during difficult times. And don't spend too much time resenting a situation.
I recently spoke to a friend who served on the frontline in Vietnam. He said to me that he would not change a thing about his life – not the good, the bad or the ugly. He is grateful that his life has been challenging, interesting and has shaped him to be the man he is today.
Remember that you are now on a new journey. Accept that at the end of this you will know yourself and your strengths better.
I want to share a quote with you from the 19th century Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon:
“Life is mostly froth and bubble, but two things stand like stone,
kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own”
Now is the time to be endlessly kind to other people and courageous facing your own challenges. Now is the time to do your best and be your best. Now is the time to invest in yourself and back yourself so you may courageously come through these difficult times and be ready for the new adventures to come.
You might say to me, “I never saw this disaster coming, not in a billion years”. Well, I want you to think of it this way. You read my books. You have an interest in learning more and improving yourself. You've invested time in becoming a better, stronger person.
Maybe you have been preparing for this for a very long time, you just didn't know it.
Until next time
Yours in Prosperity