The beginning of something better

Published 8:41 am Monday, July 17, 2017

An encouraging word
Howard Coop
With high school graduation behind me, I was, indeed, happy! My world was bright. There was so much ahead for me. The college of my choice had accepted me, and a summer job promised so much. I waited for the new world, and my heart was filled with hope.  But…
My world collapsed. That summer job I had accepted so eagerly was a total failure. Instead of earning enough money for college, I ended that summer with a small debt, and September approached. There was, I thought, no way for me to go to college. Depressed and defeated, I saw no way ahead. I did not know what to do.
But I didn’t give up. A job, one I had not anticipated, that offered a grand total of $425 for the next 12 months, was offered, and I accepted it gladly. Then, I enrolled in another college, one I had never thought about, and I had a great year. Daniel A. Poling said it so well, “It’s not the fact that you’re whipped that counts; but only how did you take it.” In 1936 when the Great Depression was a reality, Dorothy Field wrote a song that says it so well:
               Pick yourself up,
               Take a deep breath,
               Dust yourself off,
               And start all over again.
If we are to succeed in real life, that’s what we have to do.  One failure does not have to be final. It can be the beginning of something better.
In everyday life, ill winds are not uncommon. Too often they blow, sometimes hard, and we feel them. They may shake us, sometimes, more than a little bit. But even an ill wind, if we choose, can be used to an advantage. The American poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, said it so well when she wrote:
                “One ship sails East, another West,
                By the self-same winds that blow.
                Tis the set of the sails, and not the gales,
                That tells us the way to go.”

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