As a child I spend a lot of time with my grandparents. Sadly, they are gone, but their spirit and drive lives on in me. I thank God that I inherited their resilience, especially in tough times like this.
Times were tougher back then
Times are definitely tough now, but things were much harder in my grandparent’s day. My grandmother was the daughter of a sharecropper during the Great Depression. By the time she was a teen, she had lost both parents and bounced between relatives who barely had enough to feed their own families.
But she never threw up her hands in defeat. Instead, she rolled up her sleeves and cleaned houses for $5 a day plus car fare to put food on the table. In the evenings she took in ironing.
In spite of 25% unemployment (ours is around 10%), that generation did not give up. They had no unemployment insurance, food stamps, Medicaid, Section 8, yet somehow they managed to do what they needed to do to keep a roof over their heads.
We are all here because of their determination.
Empathy not sympathy
My college students were shocked when I told them that I had empathy but no sympathy for them. These students battle unbelievable odds just to make it to school each day, in hope of making life better. How can I feel sorry for them? They are DOING something about their situation, finding ways to make it better.
You have my pity
I do, however, feel sorry for (actually pity) those who curl up in defeat when life throws a curve ball. I pity those who REACT to life rather than DO something about their situation. I pity those people who waste their energy complaining about the way things are, but have no energy to improve them. I truly feel sorry for those people who wait for others to rescue them.
The lifeboat ain’t a comin’
Fix your situation
Losing your job or your house can be traumatic. It is hard to find the bright side of such a loss, even if there is a bright side. But wallowing in self-pity isn’t going to improve things. Put a statute of limitations on your pain and get out of bed, hit the ground running and DO something to change your life.