Be Grateful For Misfortune Too
There’s nowhere you can that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
– John Lennon –
Who’d have thought that a football injury whilst playing in deep snow would save the life of Frank Debenham OBE, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the Department of Geography, Cambridge University.
Debenham (30) was supposed to accompany Robert Scott on the final leg of the ill-fated Antarctic journey. In February 1913, Scott and four companions – Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans, Lawrence Oates and Edward Wilson – perished on their return from the South Pole.
If it wasn’t for the injury, Debenham would have perished too. He died at the age of 81 after a distinguished academic career. I’ll take a bet that Debenham was deeply disappointed that he couldn’t accompany Scott on the final leg of his journey. I would imagine that he’d have cursed his injury. In the end, though, it turned out just fine for him, didn’t it?
There are many incidents of bad luck turning into good luck. The challenge for us is to look at mishaps with gratitude. Yes, I know in the moment, a misfortune can appear to be a calamity. Who can be grateful for something bad?
Why then, should we look at misfortune with eyes of gratitude? Because we never really know what our life path is. We never know what new opportunities will open up for us because of every event that has ever happened in our lives.
Could that heart attack have added 10 years to our lives because we decided to change how we live post-heart attack? Could that infidelity that led to a divorce have given us a more suitable partner later on? Could being fired have given us the impetus to start our own successful business?
We don’t know why things happen. But if we reverse engineer the events in our lives we’ll
probably see some kind of divine pattern that has led us to where we are today.
I think that if we look at our situation right now, we’ll begin to understand that we’re exactly
where we’re supposed to be … right now.
If we don’t like where we’re at … and being human, we probably don’t because it is in our nature
to be dissatisfied with the status quo … then we have a choice to do something about it. But, it’s never guaranteed that what we’ll do from this day forward will reap the results we want.
In fact, it’s more than likely that we will always be unhappy where we’re at even when we get our desired result.
That, of course, is until we realise that we’re where we’re supposed to be. And, the trick is to be grateful that we’re still conscious to see how our story will play out. If we look with the eyes of gratitude we’ll realise that what we’re experiencing (both good and bad) is something wondrous and worth cherishing … no matter how our lives play out.