Sunday, November 11, 2012


To my son Tommy,

As I was driving up to the office today to get some work done, a man being interviewed on the radio said "Adversity makes us who we are."  This is a common sentiment among people and I feel sad that many are missing the point.  It is not the adversity that defines a person, it is how they react.  You can't allow an event to make you who you are.  You don't want to relinquish that much control to some haphazard circumstance.  That is why we ended up with that trite phrase of "If the world gives you lemons, make lemonade."

Stuff happens in this world.  Most of the time it is through your own actions, but even I admit that you can't take credit or responsibility for some strange happenings.  When bad things happen,  your character is defined by how you act or react.  It is easy to play the victim and say woe is me.  Some events are so devastating that it is almost understandable to do just that.  But if you can pull on your big boy pants and man up and get yourself not only through but also beyond the event,  that will speak as to who you are.

Also adversity is not the only event that can challenge your character.  Events in our life don't have to be all bad to find out who we are.  We can find out who we are and who we will be in good times and happiness as well.  Those who suggest bad things are the only way to grow are missing the point of life.  I have met those types, those guys who demand to see what you have suffered through to see if you are worthy.  They get very perplexed and annoyed with me because I won't play their game and compare war stories and scars (though often I am sure my stories are better and my scars are deeper).  Life is too short to focus in on the bad.  Instead I prefer to tell them of all the good events that have made life worth surviving the bad.  That, my son, may give you some insight into my character.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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