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Launching Points of Light in these Harrowing Times

Today, we set aside momentarily our troubles and concerns.

Make this a time to celebrate and relish our achievements, big or small.

Every day given to us is a chance to make the world better and an opportunity to show goodness and kindness to people we meet.

Sometimes, it is a struggle to get up and leave the comfort of our homes. But as President Barack Obama coaxes:

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

On how to start our day, Saint Francis suggests:

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

At work, we give it our all and our best, no matter how lowly, simple and routine our tasks. As Tyler Perry advises:

“Developing a good work ethic is key. Apply yourself at whatever you do, whether you’re a janitor or taking your first summer job because that work ethic will be reflected in everything you do in life.”

In doing our jobs, talent may be needed, but talent is not everything. Notes Patrick Suskind:

“Talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.”

While doing our share, we show our love for our jobs resulting in a powerful force described by Sam Walton, founder of Walmart:

• “If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever.”

Going home with the day’s work done, we desire happiness. But what is true happiness? Franklin Delano Roosevelt offers an answer:

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

Having performed our best, we feel triumphant with our success. But what is true success? Zig Ziglar responds:

“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”

However, we cannot fully savor success without feeling the agony and sting of defeat and failure. As Arnold Schwarzenegger reflects:

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

Along a similar vein, renowned British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill juxtaposes success and failure in an insightful perspective:

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Therefore, despite the darkness and tragedy of our times, let us persevere, endure, rise up and muster the courage to march on undaunted, undefeated, and unbowed.

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