3 May 2010
There are some people in this world who just seem to move through life so smoothly. Everything seems to be handed to them on a silver platter and they never run into problems. But, what happens when one day the bottom falls out on the path that has been holding them up their entire lives?
It can happen rather easily, especially for a person who is not embedded in a wealthy family of privilege. They have parachutes that never seem to hit the ground. But, people who were brought up in disadvantaged families can easily lose everything they’ve worked so hard to obtain. Even those people in the middle range who have to work hard but enjoy nicer things in life because of how hard they work, they can also find themselves one day without everything. This is the hardest to overcome.
The uncomfortable feeling overwhelms us when we have no idea what the future holds. Insecurities start to compound when it seems we have no more options. It seems our one chance is gone as if we will never get another. For some of us, we may have already been given a few chances and we feel that we are at the end of the line.
It can happen in so many different ways. Sometimes, it’s beyond our control. Let’s take big company downsizing for example. It can take a guy from an above average income to the unemployment insurance line where his monthly checks can hardly pay his mortgage, let alone a car payment and put food on his table. In fact, the downturn in the economy has caused a great deal of opportunities to dry up and go away.
One particular person that I know of was set to retire from a huge company that manufactured tires. When the downsizing occurred, he was the first to go simply because of the fact that he was about to retire. Companies will pull that kind of nonsense with absolutely no regard for the family or the loyalty a good worker showed that company all his life. It’s frustrating when you have spent your entire life building something to have it taken away by pure greed and selfishness.
But, there are other incidences that can drastically alter our lives. I know the story of a man who was visiting other states on business. He was driving a company vehicle because he was making advertisement pitches and often had to leave a sample of the product. He came into a small town where he noticed a major flaw in the traffic laws. He found himself stuck in an alley behind the local newspaper and ended up damaging another vehicle.
Because of the fact that he was out of state, the small town authorities decided that they would put him in jail and hold him until they sorted it all out in court. They actually charged him with a crime rather than merely let it be an insurance issue. The man lost his job, his wife and his house because the small town authorities were afraid that if they released him, they would never see him again.
In both of these accounts, the men were at that age where they should have been enjoying the downside of life. Working hard up the hill, the reward is the fact that eventually it gets easier on the downside. But, these men had a whole new uphill battle awaiting them.
We can take drastic measures when we face adversity. I have talked to several people who have found themselves in pretty tough situations. Robbing a bank came to mind. Suicide did as well. Plus, there was everything in between from selling drugs to prostitution. People tend to go through some very drastic thoughts. There is no crime in that as long as we leave the thoughts where they are and find viable solutions to bounce back.
The guy who was set to retire and was let go immediately went the next week and found a job at a franchise fast food restaurant. That’s right. He went from a supervisory position to flipping burgers. But within a few years, he was a regional manager and within a few short years after that, he owned several of his own restaurants. Now, he is retired and it only took him a few extra years. His children run his business and he has a better retirement than he did originally.
The guy who was put in jail was unable to return home once he was released. He found himself stuck in a place where he knew no one and had nowhere to go. He went to social services after being released and was forced to live on welfare for a few months. In that timeframe, he got a job as a car salesman while he ate at the soup kitchen and slept at the YMCA.
He applied himself and made phone calls on Sundays to line car sales up for the following week. He asked his customers to write letters of appreciation. Before long, he was in an apartment with food of his own in his refrigerator. Now, he tours the country doing car shows and introducing cars to dealerships. He is on a whole new playing field and he is doing very well for himself.
Sometimes opportunities seem to present themselves in the worst times of our lives. We have to look for the opportunity. But even if opportunities don’t seem to present themselves in grand ways, don’t stand still. Just do something. You’ll find that by doing something it takes your mind off of what you are going through at the moment. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
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