Do you remember the line from Forrest Gump where he said “My momma always said life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get,” or something to that effect? There are so many sayings we use to try and articulate this unpredictable life we live. My wife has a favorite saying, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade.” These sayings of course are meant to encourage us in the trials of life. The words in some way attempt to refocus our worries and give us hope. Looking at the trials of life from a glass half full perspective comes easier for some. I have been amazed when reading stories about people overcoming the greatest of adversities. I have been forever changed by family members and friends who I have witnessed smile in the face of sorrow. I believe that most of the phrases coined around life come from those who have endured the most.
This past week the world mourned the tragic bombings in Brussels. For my generation we saw the passing of our first lady, Mrs. Nancy Reagan. I was surprised at how her passing impacted me. No matter your political stance Nancy Reagan was a lady of class and honor. We are in the middle of a heated political race for President that I have to say at times brings shame on our American heritage. All this turmoil and solemnness is real, but so are the beautiful things around us. There were healthy children born in the very place that I work this week. Somewhere in our country a woman’s breast biopsy came back negative and a father seeking work to support his family finally landed that job. The clouds have moved away to allow the sun to play its role. That reminds me of another famous movie line from Coach Carter (2005). The quote is attributed to Marianne Williamson.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. “
This really says it all. Why must we find hope even in the darkest of times? It is not for ourselves but for those around us. Our light is connected to the light of those around us. It does not matter if we have the title of leader or we lead simply by influence; the light we carry has the power to radiate hope. We all spend a lot of time with the people we work with and there is so much power that can come from really investing in each other. Get to know those you work with because the culture we dream of starts with us. I think Forrest Gump’s mom was right; life is like a box of chocolates. We do not get to choose what life throws at us, but we always get to choose how we will respond to it. In this Easter season I wish you all liberation from your fears and worries and I wish you the hope of a bright tomorrow.