“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” This is a quote from Epictetus (c.AD 55-c. 135). It is believed that he was a slave, but he was given his freedom and banished from Rome. He then went to Greece and became a stoic philosopher. When you create your own happiness and joy that does not mean that you will not experience pain, sorrow, tragedy or loss. All of us will experience these on our journey. ” It’s not what happens to you , but how you react to it that matters.” (see previous article, ” Everyone’s going to die, but not everyone’s going to live.”)
Several years ago one summer a group of high school teenage girls were practicing different cheer leading routines in Louisville, Kentucky. This was before organized practice began in the fall and they were just having fun going through easy gymnastic routines. One of the girls fell by accident and injured her spine. It was a tragic event and she learned that she would never walk again. She had no control of her body from the waste down. She would be wheelchair bound forever. There were lots of newspaper articles about her and we all felt very sad for her. What kind of life would she have? She had a choice.
Several years later there was a national TV news story about this young woman. She had organized a non-profit organization to give children light weight wheelchairs. These children had lost their leg or legs from injury due to the tragedies of war and poverty. The news story featured her in Southeast Asia where she was distributing wheelchairs. She was an ambassador of hope to many, many children. “Its not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matter.” Create your happy life.