Monday, January 5, 2015

When Life Hands You a Mess...

In a time when there is much uproar in the world and much changes in my personal life, I was touched by this story I found on the news several days ago.

As I wrote in my last post, All Lives Matter.  There's a lot of tragedies in the world right now and I wrote about some of the ones really getting to me in that post, about the deaths and the violence.  I'm not sure what any of us can do about it except to be very clear that these lives matter.

Sometimes people come up with creative ways of dealing with some of these tragedies.   There was the hug between the police officer and the African-American boy at the Ferguson protest in Portland, Oregon.   That picture went viral on the internet. 

I'm sure it helped a lot of people feel better about the situation, but it really didn't do much to change things.  Few people are saying that all police are racist.  (I saw a situation on Staten Island when I was working at the bookstore there that had a similar feel.  Two cops wandered in as a woman was unloading her anger at the police in a back room.  The policemen asked me if that was a private room and when I said it wasn't they went in and had a very productive conversation with the woman.  It sounded like they agreed with a lot of her points.)

But sometimes people take the tragedies of life and try to make something useful out of them.

A woman being left by the man she was planning to marry five days before the wedding is not as tragic as the deaths I outlined in my last post, but it is both sad and common enough to not usually be a news item.  But one woman decided to make her private drama into something different.

She canceled the wedding but she wasn't able to return the dress.  So she decided to make a party of it.  She said she wanted to have a party, but not a 'pity-party'.  So she decided to have a 'trash the dress' party.    She and her family and friends (who also got dressed for the occasion) went all out with paint and turned the dress into an art project.   It's now on display at a local bridal shop which is using it to raise funds for a  non-profit that helps develop sustainable economic growth in Kenya and Uganda.

Notice that she trashed the dress, and not her ex-fiancĂ©.  It's a little thing but she could have wallowed in her misery or spent her time planning revenge.  Instead, she tried to figure out how she could make something useful out of the situation.  It's something we can learn from.

Quote of the Day:  "We all face adversity in our lives, but what really defines us is how we decide to overcome that adversity.     I decided that I will not let this tragedy and heartbreak consume me, and bring me down in life."  - Shelby Swink

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