In my teens, I was often perplexed by those around me who would fly off the handle at the slightest offense.  I wondered what made the difference between those who were happy and those who always seemed to fall short of what they had hoped for themselves.  I wondered why people got angry, why they were happy, why they were sad, why we couldn’t fix the problems, why we couldn’t make things better over the years,  why …  In other words, I was much like most other kids.  I wondered, if we were in such an advanced stage in our history, why we didn’t understand more about how to stop crime, divorce, depression, and develop a better understanding of ourselves.  Why in all of humanity, we didn’t find someone who would spell it out for us how to solve our problems.

Now I am a senior in life.  I am 76, retired for twenty-six years, had a good, full and productive career, four times married, live with little contact between me and my children and feeling incomplete.  I live what I consider to be a blessed personal life with my home, health, living in relative comfort.  But I think daily of my shortcomings toward my family.  I am incomplete with the inability to participate in my family’s reach for joy.  I cannot do what I would hope to do in living the love I hold for them and I am incomplete.

So, now I am left with a problem.  My approach, whether best or not, is this.  I will pass to each of them, a simple set of my thoughts.  I will take out blank pieces of paper, place a few black marks on them, and wander through my perceptions of how to reach upward.  I would hope that somewhere, somehow, I can express to each of them my love … my commitment to their happiness and joy … in their own lives.

It is not good to be so buried in life as to believe that you have little or no worth.  Each lesson teaches us something … or should teach us something.  We need to learn that when you feel the emotion of having little worth, it is a tool God gave us to tell us where we are.  We all begin at this point in life where we have little worth.  It is not a choice.  It is where we start.  This feeling is telling us we are at a starting point.  Just as beginning school, beginning a new job, beginning a marriage, beginning all things it is a beginning point.  We all begin from where we are, not from where we want to be.  If we are beginning, we should remember that all things began from the beginning.  We should be happy to have the common sense to know where we are … happy to have a chance to begin anew .. happy to be alive.

It is not good to be angry unless you know that anger is the tool God gave us to drive us toward a positive action to help make life better.  It shows a lack of understanding of anger and it’s worth when you simply flail about, solving nothing and destroying everything when you get angry.

It is not good to feel sad, depressed, hopeless unless you understand it’s worth.  Before you develop a negative mood, you should know what it is, why it is a part of your life and why it is a good, healthy tool that God gave you to tell you what to do next with your life.  Negative moods do not indicate an end in your life.  Moods are the logical result of where you are in life at a particular moment.  Moods are tools God gave you to help you make the world you live in better.

What causes you to feel the way you do?  Your thoughts.  You create the way you feel.  You create the way you feel because of the conversation you have within your being.  Obviously, the better the conversation, the better the result of that conversation.  The more knowledgeable you are about how to solve life’s problems, the better off you are.  The more knowledgeable you are about how to grasp a problem, find solutions and develop opportunities and solutions, the happier you are and the better off you, your family, your community is.

You feel the way you do right now because of the thoughts you are thinking at this moment.  All your moods are created by your thoughts.  Whatever you are aware of (are cognitive of) begins a process of reasoning in your mind.  Each cognition, triggers a thought process.  In other words, each event you are cognitive of causes you to begin pulling together a reasoning process which determines how you react to the event.  You create your emotions through your own thought process.  Your thought process is determined by the set of mental tools you use to analyze each experience.

You may become cognitive of events that occur in life.  If you are not aware of an event, you simply don’t think about it.  If you do become aware of an event, you may create an action if you determine (develop a perception) that it is an event that warrants action.  If the event does not require an action, you may discard the event as unimportant.  Each event we are cognitive of causes us to pull together tools we have gathered throughout our lifetime experience. 

We develop perceptions based upon the tools we have, not the tools we may need, not the tools others have, not the tools we wish we had.  These tools include our beliefs, our attitude, our reasoning ability, our knowledge about how things work … and don’t work.  The way you look at things, your perceptions, your attitude, your health, your ability to solve problems, your ability to see opportunities, your beliefs, etc. determine how you feel about each event.  Our perceptions are how we look at things.

Being realistic, you should know that an engineer looks at a product differently than does a consumer.  A physician looks at the events that occur in our body differently than does a patient.  A farmer looks differently on a vegetable than does a diner.  Each of us perceives things according to the set of tools we have gathered together.  The reality of a product, a disease, a vegetable, a feeling, mood, etc. can be different than what we perceive it to be according to the set of tools we use to perceive it.

We tend to feel the way we do because of what we think.  What we think may or may not be correct.  What tools we have may influence what we think about the way we feel.  What my beliefs are, what my reasoning ability is, what my hopes are, what my health is, determine my perceptions and my mood.  This is the reason people feel differently about things that happen.

In all things, there is a cause and an effect.  There is a mood for each of our perceptions.  Our moods include; guilt, hopelessness, loneliness, frustration, sadness, low self-confidence, apathy, hopefulness, self-confident, happiness, completeness, joy, etc. are the effect of what we perceive.  

Once you achieve good physical condition, you cannot say that you will never be short of breath.  Part of being human means getting upset from time to time.  You will never achieve a state of never-ending bliss.  And, that is a good thing.  If it were not so, you would never learn how to face life’s issues, grow strong, learn the importance of helping yourself and others.  

“… no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
‘Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell–
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell–
All is well! All is well!”