December 29, 2011
When you are struck with a great misfortune, which will happen, you may not remember all those years ago when your heart was ripped from your chest and you thought you’d never recover from the pain, but it will be the reason you can now rise above your troubles. If the memory somehow does drift back to you, gratitude will replace whatever word you previously used to describe that heartbreak.
Our character strengths are not birthrights, not genetic. They are grown from the seeds of our tragedies, disappointments and mistakes. They are nurtured by tears and fears until one day we find that the strength we felt we never would possess has become as natural as our disinclination to touch a hot iron.
From that original broken heart comes the crossing of a threshold long known to both poets and soldiers … it is then you know that you can survive, prevail. And that resilience will have been born in love, the root of our strength, which, know it or not, is always worth the loss.
Life does not always give us beauty in neatly wrapped packages, but beauty is there nonetheless. Our greatest triumphs begin with risking the unknown, willingly unprepared for the fall, forgiveness in hand, and in the end our lives are far better for it. When families and academia are able teach this to our children, we will have a resurgence of leaders we can respect and trust.
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