The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

July 1, 2014

We have different areas of strength

How strong are you? Think about it.

One can be strong in one area and weak in another. We have different areas of strength: mental, physical, spiritual and emotional.  Some are weak physically but strong in the other three, or have great physical strength and be lacking in the other three. No matter what, we all have a strength of some kind and need to recognize that area.  

I remember a lesson from a devotional book I had as a teenager about strength. Of course, I don’t remember word for word, but it sure struck a nerve with me.  Disappointment and discouragement will come to everyone who attempts to achieve something worthwhile. The heartbreak of failure has been experienced by even the most successful person. Every ambitious youth has high hopes that are never realized. It takes courage to put failure behind us and set our faces again toward success. It takes courage to rebuild the castle of our dreams that have been wrecked by circumstances. The path to achievement is one of struggle, and struggle calls for strength.

I am grateful for my heritage, ancestors who lived during the Great Depression and the development of this wonderful state. There were many challenges they faced every day, so they looked within themselves for strength. From their unyielding faith and work, and their learning to be frugal and positive, they developed strength of character. They also had a physical strength through hard work. They were self-reliant and appreciative of everything they had. People of that eras passed on to their children and grandchildren the importance of strength of every kind. I hope I am doing the same.

In a publication from my home church in Pawnee were listed 13 things that mentally strong people avoid. Each one gives me something to think about. They are:

1. Wasting time feeling sorry for themselves.

2. Giving away their power, that’s letting other people control their actions and their mood.        

3. Shying away from change.

4. Wasting energy on things that cannot change.

5. Worry about pleasing others.

6. Fear taking calculated risks.

7. Dwelling on the past.

8. Making the same mistake over and over.

9. Resenting other people’s success.

10. Giving up after failure.

11. Fearing alone time.

12. Feeling the world owes them anything.

13. Expecting immediate results.

I have given a lot of thought to those things to avoid. I don’t always avoid them but I do try.  Here are 13 things that I think mentally strong people do:  

1. Never, never, never give up.

2. Develop a good work ethic.

3. Have integrity and complete honesty.

4. Have a plan and carry it to completion.

5. Take responsibility for our own actions and opinions.

6. Be considerate of others (including being punctual).

7. Do what we say we will do, and don’t do what we say we won’t do.

8. Do not compare ourselves to others, but be secure and always do our best.  

9. Enjoy our surroundings, nature, art, music, friends and family.

10. Have inner peace and harmony with our world.

11. Laugh every day at something, even ourselves.

12. Be positive.

13. Know that apart from God, we can do nothing!

Struggle and strength, whether issued in happiness or suffering, in joy or pain, in success or failure, is essential to life and cannot be shirked except at the expense of harmony of beings, the winning of character and any hope of the attainment of cherished goals. Granting all the instances of failure, acknowledging all the chances of defeat, still the only possible pathway to peace leads that way. It is vastly better to strive and be baffled and beaten than to yield without effort. There is something noble in the overthrow of a hero who fights to the end, but only dishonor in the coward who runs away. The struggle itself is a kind of victory, no matter what the issue. So be strong, push forward.

Warm days call for easy meals.  I have been asked again for this simple, yet good, recipe. It can be served as a salad or dessert. (Or I can make an entire meal of it.)

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