I like things to run smoothly. I like everyone to get along with each other. I like to see a smile on people’s faces and happiness demonstrated from each person’s heart. You probably feel the same way.
When we all get along and work together, everything in life seems to run more smoothly. The only challenge with this concept is that life is not always a tidy process.
I am confident that each person reading this Tip has had an unexpected bump in the road of their life. Perhaps there was a personal illness or a financial failure. Maybe you were caught completely off guard by an unexpected relationship problem. Perhaps the unexpected consequences of someone else’s lack of responsibility may have fallen squarely in your lap, even though you had nothing to do with it. (Anyone who has children can probably identify with that situation.)
Recently, I was reading a book about the making of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Almost everyone has seen that wonderful Christmas story about George Bailey and how an angel came from heaven to help him during his most difficult hour. It is a heart-warming movie that has become part of each Christmas season.
In the book, the director of the film, Frank Capra, talked about all of the wonderful experiences he had working with the young actors, Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. He also talked about what it was like to work with more seasoned actors like Lionel Barrymore. But, the one thing that caught my attention and totally surprised me was when Capra told about the hate mail he received over one issue in the movie.
If you have ever seen it, you know that Uncle Billy accidentally left $8,000 wrapped up in old man Potter’s newspaper one morning while in the process of making a bank payment at Mr. Potter’s bank on behalf of the Bailey Savings and Loan. When mean-spirited Mr. Potter discovered that the money had been left in his newspaper, he did absolutely nothing to return it to Uncle Billy. Then the remainder of the movie focused on the unfolding events and how George Bailey almost lost his life over the dramatic tragedy that followed the loss of the $8,000 payment. If you will also recall, Mr. Potter never returned the money. George Bailey had to resort to all his family and friends to help recover his losses.
Frank Capra said that he received many vicious letters telling him that he should have brought some closure to that situation. The movie ends with Mr. Potter never returning the $8,000 and George Bailey having to regroup his losses and start his life over. Mr. Capra said he responded to everyone in the same way, “Life is not a tidy process that always works out fairly. Sometimes things never get resolved and that is reality!”
I agree with Frank Capra. Although I do not like it, and although I wish we could all “live happily ever after”, the hard fact is, sometimes we have to deal with difficult situations that literally are “gut wrenching”. However, the good news is that if we will face these situations just like George Bailey did and keep a positive attitude, we will put ourselves in a posture of having a more desirable outcome than we would have otherwise. We can all experience “a wonderful life!”
When things get hard, do not forget that life is not always a tidy process. Sometimes you will get the short end of the stick. And, unfortunately, it is not a matter of if it is going to happen, but rather when it is going to happen. By recognizing it is inevitable that an untidy situation will come your way, you will be less surprised and more able to deal with the situation. We do not look forward to these difficult times, but we should not be overwhelmed by them either. Sometimes it takes us days, weeks, months, and even years, to recover from our losses but, in the long run, by expecting to deal with difficult situations when they arise, we will not be caught off-guard and completely devastated by them.
You are a winner, not a whiner, and you can deal with whatever comes your way. Take a deep breath, face your situation and go deal with it! And have a wonderful life!
Tip: Life is not always a tidy process!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm