There is no denying the fact we’ve got problems left, right and centre. It feels like the weight of the world is resting squarely on our sholulders.
But here’s a thought. Today is a great day to be alive. Sure life is full of challenges. In this country today – and everywhere else in the world for that matter - we see problems. They come in all different shapes and sizes. But then what’s life without problems, what’s a journey without obstacles?
Don’t we become stronger through perseverance? Those fitness fanatics will know that muscles only grow if they are continually broken down day in and day out.
They don’t suddenly pop up; you have to work and work. They appear only after the tears and the ugly facials during training. Yes it’s not pretty but it’s a good feeling when a goal is achieved.
So you think we’ve got problems. Of course we have. Everybody has them. It’s not just Samoa that has problems. From the smallest country on earth to the biggest nation, they all face challenges now and then.
But think of the old adage that someone always has it worse than you. Indeed, if you think your problems are bad, consider yourself lucky. Someone will have it worse. If you’re stressing out over not being able to pay a hundred tala, think of the person who owes a thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand or even millions.
If you think you’ve got a case of a bad cough, think of the person at the hospital who is on life support. If you think you’re tired of this life and the ability to move around, think of the person who is not able to move at all. They will give anything to be able to do what you are doing.
That’s reality. Yes we all face challenges. But my challenges are not the same as yours. Yours are not the same as the person next to you and so forth.
What we’ve got to appreciate though is the gift of life and the fact that we are here today. So instead of whining, whisper a prayer of thanks to the Almighty God for bringing us this far. Thank him for the solutions to those problems.
And think of today as a gift, a precious day to celebrate being alive. Who said we have to wait for our birthdays to celebrate? Ask the elderly folks around you and they’ll tell you that everyday for them is a present. They appreciate what it means. And we should all do the same.
Little or much, let’s be grateful. Let’s be appreciative of the people around us; let’s be thankful for our families, churches, villages and good friends. Let’s be thankful of our leaders in government, churches and villages. If you’re a father, be thankful for your wife and children.
If you’re a mother, be thankful for your husband and family. If you’re a leader in whatever field, be thankful for the people under your leadership. You cannot be a leader unless you have people to lead.
If you’re a pastor, be thankful for your church members. If you’re the boss at work, be grateful for everyone at your workplace, even right down to the man or woman who cleans the toilet. Everyone has a part to play.
Let’s be thankful for our problems and the people who make life difficult.
Think of them as a challenge, an opportunity to develop patience, endurance and longsuffering. Everything in life is an opportunity to grow; it’s an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to get better.
Let’s also be thankful for our enemies. They make us better.
The reality is that bad things happen all the time. Even good people are not spared. In Samoa today, we are going through quite a period where our resolve as a nation is being tested.
But it’s how we react to it that matters. What lessons can we learn from these things? How can we change so that we won’t make the same mistake next time?
Let’s not forget that life is not about how many times we fall. Rather it’s about how we pick ourselves up after the fall. That determines the character of the man.
Indeed, today is a great day to be alive. Life is what we make it. And know that it can be taken away from us anytime, any day. Some times it’s an understatement to say life is short. What we need to do is to enjoy life responsibly and make the most of it.
In the words of one Ralph Marston: “Today is a great day to be alive because today you can make things happen. You can set a goal, chart a course, take stock of your situation and use it to create new value.
“You don’t need anyone’s permission to live with joy and fulfillment. You don’t need to wait for certain circumstances to line up in a specific way.
“For today is a great day to be alive, to be productive, to be effective and to fulfill your best possibilities. And now is the moment to enthusiastically get busy making it all happen.”
And in the words of King David in the Psalms: “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
So cheer up folks, get rid of that anger and bitterness as it will only make you ugly. Share a smile, forgive someone and make the most of today.
Have a fabulous day Samoa, God bless!