We are nothing to be scoffed at. We are not to be jeered at or belittled. We have overcome adversity, racism and sexism. We are all human and I believe that we are all strong.
I grew up in a very comfortable home. I always got what I wanted, and if, for some reason I didn’t, I whined until my wishes were fulfilled. Lately though, the lap of luxury I have been living in has begun to disappear because my father recently lost his job. He had been faithfully working for the same company for over thirty years. He had climbed the career ladder until he was the manager of a department. In this past year though, the company decided to outsource due to financial problems, leaving my father, along with the rest of the company’s work force out of a job.
Over the past months, he has been filling out applications, completing resumes, and going on job interviews. Not yet have I seen him angry, or holing a grudge. He has not cried nor whined, as I often have when things didn’t go my way. He continued to keep his head high and not show weakness even in the face of financial turmoil.
I have learned more than I could have ever thought possible from watching my father lose his job. His reaction to the situation taught me that even though things may be bad, it is still possible to pull through. He taught me that power and strength do not come from physical size but instead from a positive mindset. Strength for him was his mental ability to cope with the loss of his job and be able to keep his wits about him. Now, as I look at the other people in my life, I realize how true this statement is.
My grandmother has been living alone for the past fifteen years since her husband of fifty years passed away. She calls us every day to ask us how we are and what we are up to. I know that she feels lonely and is saddened ne the loss of her husband. Never less, she is still the funniest person I know. She may be a little rough around the edges, but in spite of everything, she still smiles. She loves her family, friends, her house and her cat, and stays strong for all of us. Her strength comes from her perseverance, and her will to live, as well as the support of the people around her.
I believe that people are strong. We can do almost anything we put our minds to, from deciding to stay alive to finding a new job to carry you through the rest of your life. I have seen how people react in various situations. Some people become frightened, others angry, some even put up a facade of humor, but underneath that, most hold their ground and face whatever life throws at them. As human beings, we are far from perfect, and may never be, but we can still show our strength even when it looks like all of the odds are against us.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.