Jewels on a Toad’s Head


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“Sweet are the uses of adversity, which like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.” – Shakespeare

You know how some things just blow you away? Cheesecakes, a grand slam by Albert Pujols, Bo Bice and Constantine Maroulis rocking out, when your spouse says, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”…

One of the things that knocks the breath out of me every time I see it is when a person takes adversity and makes it work for them.

Remember the episode of Andy Griffith where little Opie is being picked on by a bully? The bully was taking Op’s lunch money and making his life miserable. In the end, instead of backing down, Opie stands right up to him – kind of squinting his face up like, “This is gonna hurt.” Later, wearing a black eye like a medal, he tells his “Pa” what happened after the bully popped him, “I tore into him!” Got his lunch money back, too.

Sometimes we’re Opie and life is our bully. It can get pretty creative in its tactics, since it isn’t limited to one approach. If you look into its bag of tricks you’ll find illness, money problems, family disagreements, broken appliances, job trouble, speeding tickets (*clears throat*), accidents – it packs a much bigger whallop than stolen lunch money.

The people I’m drawn to are the ones who go toe to toe with the bully, take what it gives them and then use it to their advantage. I’m afraid I haven’t any tolerance for the whiners of the world nor time for its quitters. Someone who feels sorry for themself makes me feel all kinds of bad. I just want to tell them, “Take that energy and freakin’ do something about it!” Throw your chest out, put your hands on your hips, take a deep breath, grit your teeth. You’ve taken what life had to give. Now are you ready? Tear into it!

Make every moment count double,

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