"Everything happens for a reason," said my friend Betty Tisdale this morning from her home where she is recovering from a life threatening stroke. Betty is 90 years of age and for 52 years, she has been actively involved in doing incredible work for orphans in Vietnam and elsewhere around the world.
Betty recently suffered that stroke and yet she views it with a positive attitude and is recovering quickly, even as her work on behalf of orphans continues. Betty has so much energy, enthusiasm and determination I find it impossible not to be uplifted whenever she and I speak.
By contrast, so many people get down on themselves and on life whenever something bad happens to them. They don't see the bigger picture or the lessons they are being offered in this journey of life.
Whatever happens contains some marvelous lessons and may have some compelling rewards. In Betty's case, from afar I've watched her family and friends lovingly rally on her behalf and from Anne's and my perspective we are getting to know her beautiful daughter Lien, who Betty has always spoken glowingly of but until now, to whom we had not spoken.
We all have trials in our lives, some of those trials so severe, they even test our resolve to live. But we were blessed by having been given each other, and an abundance of love and compassion to share if only we choose to do so.
Betty has helped thousands of orphans, abandoned by their parents, or who were left as children to struggle mightily as a result of the deaths of their parents, most often from war. Betty is not a "Why me," kind of person, but instead lovingly grants that "Everything happens for a reason" and takes action to make life better for others.
So can you and I if we care and act. Each of us has a destiny and reasons to be here. Yet we have setbacks some of which are profound for as individuals and as humanity we are far from perfect.
But the greater the helping hand we offer others, and the more love and joy we share, the higher the spiritual growth we attain and the most blessed of honors we bestow upon those who placed us on this sacred journey of life. And it is they who see to it that "Everything happens for a reason."