Posted on Mar 28, 2010 under Attitude, Challenges in Life, Dealing with Adversity, Determination, Inspiration, Letting go, Life, Perseverance, Reflection, Robert Lee Frost, Strength, Suffering |
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” – Robert Lee Frost
This morning, I read a write-up Top 5 Best Quotes Ever by thooghun in Hub Pages. What is Top 5 Best Quotes to one may not be the Top 5 for another; It is subjective as mentioned by the author.
However, the author mentioned something which brought me to a new level of appreciating quotes. I have always like collecting quotes for the wisdom we can find in them, from my own interpretation, my own understanding, my own experiences and my point of views. It may or may not have anything to do with the great and famous people who uttered those words.
The author mentioned, “We cannot fully understand the beauty and power of certain quotes unless we understand both the context and the experiences of those who uttered them.” How true isn’t it?
Most who have undergone personal tribulations and challenges in life may understand that the world does not stop just because of them. The people around them would offer love, consolation, support and sympathy but end of the day, these people would have to move on with their own lives. The planet still continues to revolve around the sun. Nothing stops; changes are taking place all around us in the next nanosecond. This realisation usually comes later for some; for a while they may stop moving in their lives and thought likewise that their lives have ‘stopped.’
If only all will realise one day as what Robert Lee Frost had experienced that ‘Life goes on,’ then moving on and letting go would be much easier, smoother and faster.
A look at Robert Lee Frost’s personal life, one would realise that his life was plagued with grief and loss. At the age of 11, his father died of tuberculosis, leaving the family in financial distress. From Wikipedia:
Frost’s mother died of cancer in 1900. In 1920, Frost had to commit his younger sister, Jeanie, to a mental hospital, where she died nine years later. Mental illness apparently ran in Frost’s family, as both he and his mother suffered from depression, and his daughter Irma was committed to a mental hospital in 1947. Frost’s wife, Elinor, also experienced bouts of depression.
Elinor and Robert Frost had six children: son Elliot (1896–1904, died of cholera), daughter Lesley Frost Ballantine (1899–1983), son Carol (1902–1940, committed suicide), daughter Irma (1903–1967), daughter Marjorie (1905–1934, died as a result of puerperal fever after childbirth), and daughter Elinor Bettina (died three days after birth in 1907). Only Lesley and Irma outlived their father. Frost’s wife, who had heart problems throughout her life, developed breast cancer in 1937, and died of heart failure in 1938.
For Robert Lee Frost, ‘life’ then truly went on. I am deeply moved by the strength and inspiration in his words. I hope that you too will be inspired and you will find the inner strength; life goes on!
Photo by winterdove
Free CD and DVD Offer – CLICK HERE to free yourself from addiction NOW with The Sedona Method.
“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.” – Oprah Winfrey
There is a general saying that says, “Everything happened for a reason.” Do you believe or rather do you agree with that saying? Just as a coin has two sides, some of you will agree with that and others will not. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in whether you choose to believe in it or not. I believe that ‘Everything happened for a reason.‘ Sometimes we can see the reason immediately after it happened. At times, the reason will only be seen much later and when you see the reason, it’ll be like those moments of ‘aha!’ That was why it happened.
For people who believe in a Greater Being above, they will say that they are being put through tests to prepare them for greater things ahead. For me, I see it as opportunities for growth; chances for me to surpass myself to become a better person so that I can be of better service to others around me. My aim is not to ask you to search for the reasons for everything that happened but rather to believe that you too are given unique opportunities to grow.
In so speaking, that will lead to the following statement, “Is there meaning to suffering too?” If we applied the above saying, then suffering happened for a reason too and suffering too provides opportunities for one to grow. In the book Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl under ‘The Meaning of Suffering’ in page 112, he said, “We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation – just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
He went on to cite an example of one of his cases:
Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now, how could I help? What should I tell him? Well, I refrained from telling him anything but instead confronted him with the question, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” “Oh,” he said, “for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!” Whereupon I replied, “You see. Doctor, such suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering – to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her.” … In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice.”
On a seperate account he shared:
“…when a rabbi from Eastern Europe turned to me and told me his story. He had lost his wife and their six children in the concentration camp of Auschwitz where they were gassed, and now it turned out that his second wife was sterile … the rabbi evaluated his plight as an orthodox Jew in terms of despair that there was no son of his own who would ever say Kaddish (a prayer for death) for him after his death.
I made a last attempt to help him by inquiring whether he did not hope to see his children again in Heaven. However, my question was followed by an outburst of tears, and now the true reason for his despair came to the fore: he explained that his children, since they died as innocent martyrs, were thus found worthy of the highest place in Heaven, but as for himself he could not expect, as an old sinful man, to be assigned the same place. I did not give up but retorted, “Is it not conceivable, Rabbi, that precisely this was the meaning of your surviving your children: that you may be purified through these years of suffering, so that finally you, too, though not innocent like your children, may become worthy of joining them in Heaven?”
Although this is Viktor E. Frankl’s ways or methods in helping his patients find meanings in what they are going through, I do see the underlying opportunities for his patients to grow through their incidences. One does not always have to search for the reasons or meanings for what happened, but to always believe that ‘Everything happened for a reason‘ and always attached with an unique opportunity to grow.
What do you think? Do you believe that ‘Everything happened for a reason’ too? Or do you have your own way to put it? Do feel free to share it with us in the comment.