Here are three great sayings, mottos, or aphorisms, as have been called, portable wisdom.
- Weakness invites challenges
- Life is what you make it
- You are in charge of your own happiness
When something bad happens to us, we can say how are we in charge if this happened? When we were in an accident in June 2008 by a guy texting and hitting us and our car; how were we to avoid it unless we were not driving by at that moment? Then we would have avoided it because we were not there.
If something good happens to us, we can then say, we were in charge and therefore that happiness occurred for us. We can also believe we deserved it.
Life is what you make it means we go out and accomplish something we thought that perhaps we believed, we could not have happened to us.
Sayings, mottos, aphorisms are all made up of words. Words can be powerful, destructive, painful, joyful and can start wars. When we were in first and second grade, we had what was called spelling tests. Every Tuesday night, I would spell the words on the list for my Dad and he would tell me that I was doing fine. I was excellent in spelling, math, then called arithmetic and handwriting. I read well too and all of those five subjects were liked by me, a six and seven year old kid. We knew no mottos in those days. other than during the Second World War, there were some that taught us to be aware of what was going on around us and when we heard a siren, we were told what we had to do to survive an attack from the enemy.
Now days we are beseeched by all kinds of sayings. We are implored to understand the nature of the words and what they mean to us.
“Isn't it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude towards life you've got everything! You can't buy any of these things, but still you can have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc., but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing!”
When I was a little girl, I visited Aunt Sarah and Aunt Jenny often. They were my dad’s two sisters who had no children of their own. I have written about them extensively, because I loved them. They were what I would call poor. They lived in a small apartment in a second floor of a home. They really did not have a private entrance; you walked into the foyer of actually the first floor tenants who owned the house. There was no privacy coming into the place, you actually saw the other people’s living room.
They had a clean place, accentuated by little doo-dads of collections of plates, cups and bowls. I use to be fascinated by the different colors and patterns of the ornaments. They had pictures in plain frames of when they were young. Aunt Jenny had long hair down to her waist and she braided it and it finally was made up in a bun at her neck. I use to admire it when it hung long. She was not married and the word was that she had been offered marriage by a very well to do man and she turned him down because she did not think him educated enough for her. She really did not have much education herself; but she wanted her spouse to have it.Actually, he was in the furniture business and he was smitten with her. She was looking for a degree after his name; he became wealthier and wealthier as the years rolled by. She lived in what we would call now poverty towards the end, after Aunt Sarah died. She moved to live in a government subsidies area in downtown Baltimore and she did not even have a phone until Dad paid for it in her later years. She was hung up even then, that someone had to have a degree before she would show interest in him. The furniture man became very wealthy, married and had several children and grandchildren and lived in a nice part of town.
So you could say, she was living her life waiting for a slogan or words to follow his name. She lived her life as she saw fit, and indeed, she was in charge of her life, choosing not to marry him and to be alone and in dire need of companionship and income. Her weakness was that she did not invite a challenge, marry this man who could love her and give her all that she desired. He was a good man, charitable and crazy over her, as was related to me.She became a sewer in a clothing factory and it was a miserable job with a terrible employer. This is what she chose. We felt sad for her and invited her often to our home for being with family and for holiday dinners. We were worried when she left after dinner, while it was still light outside to travel on two streetcars (no buses in those days) to go home.
It was not that she did not care for him, she had this uppity attitude about what she expected and her expectations never materialized with him or any other man. I know towards the end, she was sorry she had not given him a chance and she would have had a great life and probably many children and grandchildren. One day, she ordered a small piece of furniture from a store and lo and behold, when the truck pulled up to deliver it, the delivery was being done by this man’s furniture company. On the truck, she saw the name of the company and it was his first and second name, as was the name of his many furniture stores. She was startled and we were there when it happened, and the look in her now older eyes was one of pure despair. Life is what you make it and she made it wrong, she knew that now and her worry over him not having a college degree was a factor in her choosing not to choose him.
So I guess, we should try to be proud of our past and be contented in the present. I am far from being an advisor on life. I would suggest, not preach, that we should be strong in our challenges and be in charge of our happiness. The difference in between ordinary and extraordinary is that there is a little extra in the second one.
Do what is best for you now and look to the future and think where you want to be in ten years and if it is something you really want, reach out and try to set a goal for it and know you are in charge of your own happiness, security and goals. By using the right words to do your choosing on what life can bring you, you will be wiser, happier, content and hopefully, completely satisfied with your choices.
You will have received portable wisdom, the wisdom to discern what is best for you now and for your future.