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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Building cathedrals

Joyce Sasse

“You are late getting home from school”, the 8-year-old’s father commented.
“I know, dad. Jenny’s doll got broke!”
“So you helped her pick up the pieces?”
“No. I sat down and helped her cry.”

We may live in a crazy, up-side-down, erratic and irrational world, but still we can help each other get through the rough spots and find meaning in life, such as our young friend did.

On the one hand, we can allow ourselves to get caught in a trap of helplessness and despair and float like a cork on the ocean.

Or, following the advice of Nazi death camp survivor Viktor Frankl, we can find purpose for each day. In the camp, he noticed those who took responsibility for helping another person, or who tried to find meaning through music, or who valued the way their suffering gave them deeper understanding – were the ones who survived the terrible atrocities. Something so simple as deciding to share a piece of bread with another brought a wisp of joy. Each act of outreach reflected a glimmer of hope.

How important it is to realize we can either surrender when the going gets tough, or we can decide to do something positive. We have a choice.

The exact words of a poem elude me, but I recall a story told of two prisoners working in a quarry. One saw himself endlessly breaking stones. The other believed that his stones might be used to build cathedrals. Can you imagine who found extra endurance?

Attitude makes all the difference. That can be the life-saver!

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