The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 30, 2013

Robin L. Quillon | Hope, faith, effort help us over life’s hurdles

Robin L. Quillon

— Everything will be just fine. …

As parents of four grown (three married) children, here lately, my wife and I have had to help tamp down what we would consider life’s little brush fires. However, at this point in their young lives, these setbacks are raging infernos.

Hey, guess what folks? The older my children get, and the more they grapple with life’s disappointments and discouragements, the smarter my wife and I get. Parents getting smarter as children grow

older is a fact, because my dad and mom are now geniuses. It just took a lot of scar tissue for me to finally figure that out.

I now understand with perfect clarity the phrase my dad would often offer as I stood at the precipice after a setback: “Son, you can do it the easy way or the hard way – it’s your choice.”

And then he would lovingly nudge me in the right direction and lay out how he believed such and such would go, depending upon my course of action.

More often than not, he was spot-on. Mom and Dad have a knack for putting life’s challenges, wisely, into their proper perspectives.

Disappointment and discouragement come into our lives in various doses. Sometimes we sip the cup, barely tasting the bitterness, and other times we drink from the fire hose that about drowns us.

The fact is, disappointment and discouragement are pesky bedbugs that will never entirely be eradicated from our lives – nor should they be. After all, are not our disappointments and discouragements a healthy sign that we are alive, engaged and moving?

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Hope can be such a powerful force in our lives. It is a supernal blessing that serves as a ray of sunshine during our darkest hours. Hope buoys us up. But never forget, hope is not a strategy. Without faith and action on our part, hope is little more than one oar in the water.

Wisdom would suggest that, if we are ever in a situation where we are reeling from the inevitable disappointments and discouragements in life, we remember to seek out the advice of our parents, who more than likely have had a slice of that pie many times over.

We should seek out good friends or trusted colleagues who will listen and counsel with our best interests in mind.

I remember a quote someone said, “A true friend will stab you in the front.”

Those are the ones I’d seek out after a blistering round of disappointment and discouragement.

I believe when we are faced with life’s disappointments and discouragements, if we are willing to link together hope with faith and effort, the skies will clear, and everything will be just fine!



Robin L. Quillon is the publisher of The Tribune-Democrat of CNHI News Service. He can be reached at rquillon@tribdem.com.

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