One of the things you learn
as you are going through the various stages of life is that no matter what
you are involved in, life has a way of throwing obstacles at you.
when we start to get comfortable with a person, a place or a situation,
something comes along to change it. A friend moves away. A child graduates
and takes a job in another city or gets married. Unexpected expenses arise
which force you to use savings that were set aside for a vacation. Or you
get laid off from work.
ability to cope with change and disruption determines, to a great degree,
our peace, happiness and contentment in life. But how do we develop this
ability to cope with change? How do we help children learn this skill?
have considered this question for centuries. According to the author of
the Book of Ecclesiastes, comfort can be found in remembering that
"to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under
heaven." A friend of mine once stated that in order to work for the
government, "survivability depends upon adaptability". I
recently watched a show on television where a
surfer summed up the answer to lifeís
problems in four simple words: "Go with the flow."
Californian explained, "Itís like surfing. You canít organize the
ocean. Waves just happen. You ride them where they take you, then you
paddle back out there and catch the next one. Sure, youíre always hoping
for the perfect wave, but mostly you just take them the way they
the surfer has the answer we have been looking for.
is nothing more than a series of events - both good and bad. No matter how
good your organizational skills or how well you have planned for all
eventualities, there will always be life-influencing factors over which
you have no control. The truly successful person expects the unexpected,
and is prepared to make adjustments should the need arise, as it almost
doesnít mean you donít keep trying to make your plans and dreams come
true. It just means that when things donít go according to plan, you
just work around them and then move on. As the surfer said, "You ride
them where they take you, then you paddle back out there and catch the
we must all realize is that some obstacles are easier to take than others.
Missing a baseball game because of rain is easier to take than the sudden
death of a family member. But the principle is the same. "You ride
the wave where it takes you, then you paddle back out there and catch the
next wave, always searching for the perfect ride." In other words,
you work around the obstacle the best you can and then you move on with
have often commented on my ability to remain calm under difficult
circumstances. I merely tell them that the secret is to keep your planning
to a minimum. If I have to get to Sudbury, I will plan on taking the shortest route along
Hwy 69N. But, if for some reason I am forced to take a detour through
Garson or Rayside-Balfour, I have learned to simply enjoy the ride. I
will eventually get to . It may take a little longer, and the road may
be a little bumpier, but I will get there. I have also learned over the
years that usually when I am forced to take a detour, I encounter some
very worthwhile life-experiences along the way that I would have missed
had it not been for taking the detour. As weird as it sounds, I actually
look forward to the unexpected. Itís like opening a Christmas present -
you never know what you are going to find.
as a student at the beginning of your exciting journey of life, let me
advise you not to fear change, but rather learn to cope with it by enjoying the ride and
then moving on with life.
Go with the flow!