Ellen - Manteca, California
Entered on April 5, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

“When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade.” Some people decide to throw the lemons back twice as hard. Others ignore them and continue on their way as if nothing happened. Certain people are allergic to lemons and their immune system deteriorates on the spot, causing them to be hospitalized immediately, causing them to miss work, causing them lose out on that upcoming promotion they had their eye on for years, or even worse, causing them to get fired, which causes them to fall behind on their mortgage or car payments, and pretty much ruining their lives. But I’ve learned, the most beneficial thing one can do in this situation, is to learn to make delicious lemonade. (Hopefully you’re not the allergic-to-lemons type).

How you handle everyday stressors (challenges), negative criticism (constructive criticism), insults (demonstrations of jealousy), and bad news (the night before the dawn) will dictate more on the outcome of the problem than the problem itself. Are you a half-full, or half-empty glass person? Did you get fired from your job? Or were you released from your former duties and given endless possibilities for a new career, and a new direction in life? Did a stray pebble destroy your windshield by cracking it? Or was this the opportunity you were waiting for to buy and sport around a brand new windshield, anyway? Are you going to feel self-aware because the cashier just stared you down for no reason? Or will you crack a little smile and compliment her on her hair color because maybe, just maybe, she was having a bad day today?

If something isn’t going to kill you, it will make you stronger. That’s why it’s important to stick to the latter – because if you don’t, it just might kill you. These are the poor people who happen to be allergic to lemons. When you neglect to try to find the good or in some cases MAKE good from the bad (it’s not always there, sometimes, you must make it yourself), you are letting the challenges get the best of you. You will be brought down, overthrown, and dismayed.

Those of you who like to throw the lemons back twice as hard, come on. What are you doing? Why are you wasting time and energy? If you get fired from your job, you get fired. Move on. Don’t go back and try to file a million-dollar lawsuit on the company just because they didn’t provide the staff with a microwave or refrigerator. Don’t go setting your mechanic’s shop on fire just because they forgot to close the lid on the oil container under your hood. Move on. Save your energy. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Learning to make the best out of the worst, making something out of nothing, and taking the good from the bad is perhaps the best you can do in a crummy world. So remember: if you get hit with a lemon, keep in mind you have a free lemon to make lemonade out of. A lemon you didn’t have to buy with your own money.