Guest Column: Reflections on life lessons
By State Rep. Jim Sacia
No one gets through life without a little adversity. I have the greatest respect for those who deal with life head on. No matter what card they are dealt, they play it to the best of their ability. I don’t recall the gentleman’s name, but to paraphrase him, “life is only 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” We all know people who deal with every issue in life as if it’s a crisis. We know others that seem to simply take it all in stride, yes, they play that card.
Perhaps this article is too philosophical, but please indulge me. Though my parents have gone to their final reward, I thank God each day for their guidance during my youthful days on life’s highway.
My dad, Gerald, was quite the philosopher. I remember once seeing a very debilitated young man in a wheelchair. I told my dad it wasn’t fair. He was quick to tell me that life isn’t fair, but it would be up to me to make the best of every situation. His most prophetic comment, he shared with me shortly before he passed, “I’m sure not scared of dying, but I truly will miss living.” To me, it reflected a great attitude.
Recently, a good friend was struggling with a temperamental lawn mower and actually in tears as it wouldn’t run, and the lawn wouldn’t get mowed. Certainly a crisis to my friend. In the overall scheme of things, probably no big deal. I have another friend that is significantly crippled. My friend was not dealt a fair hand. My friend has the best attitude of anyone I know.
I have the privilege of having my 100-year-old mother-in-law live every third month with Jen and me. She is an inspiration. Though confined to a wheelchair, each morning when I ask her how she is doing, her answer is positive, “I’m doing better than I was yesterday.” There is little doubt in my mind that her long life, in a large part, is due to a great attitude.
My point, of course, is a positive attitude, no matter what the adversity, is a tremendous attribute. Some find it easily in spite of overwhelming odds; others come apart at the seams because the lawn mower breaks.
The loss of my campaign office in Freeport could be considered an adversity. Two days before the loss, a good friend was going to move in to the second-floor furnished apartment. No one was hurt. Bricks and mortar can be replaced.
Life’s highway has its potholes. Don’t let them ruin the trip.
Jim Sacia (R) is the state representative for the 89th District in Illinois.
From the July 6-12, 2011, issue