I often meet discouraged people. Recently I talked to a man unemployed after 17 years of stable $80,000 a year pay. He was working a minimum wage job and discouraged. I praised him for staying active, being employed and keeping his mind busy but I could see the sadness in his eyes.
No one enjoys losing a job, fighting disease, being knocked down and feeling defeated. What is going on with you today? Maybe you are having a child that you did not plan to have. Maybe your spouse or the love of your life has not worked out.
Possibly someone has disappointed you. Life is filled with disappointments.
We've all been disappointed in presidents, Congress, and frustrated with the world in general. What can we do? Make changes. Change is not always possible but when it is you should.
Change is often the lesser of choices. We get into ruts. We call it stability. Stability is nice but sometimes it can be a rut we don't have the courage to leave. People hang onto drugs, sad relationships, and negative lifestyles because fear holds them back from going forward. We fear leaving the safety of the house to face and conquer what may be in the outside world.
When I was 24 I taught an older lady how to swim. She had always feared the water but has thanked me several times down throughout the years. My youngest son had to take the driver's test three times. We stayed with it and we kept practicing. Today he drives and travels anywhere he wants to go.
The change you may want to make may be simple and subtle. Nobody may ever notice but you, but you are the one who counts.
This summer why not take some small risks? I'm not talking about going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. I'm talking about some steps forward in your life. The kind of stuff you've thought about doing, wanted to do but just didn't have the heart to try. Remember it's okay to fail quickly. Actually it's better to fail fast than to take five years to fail. However, every now and then something clicks well and you will look back and think, "I'm glad I tried."
What can Americans do this summer? Be willing to try. Be willing to change. Put your disappointments behind you. Some people will embrace you but not everybody is your friend, so get over expecting overwhelming support about most anything. If you are successful people will jump on the bandwagon but that comes later after all of your trial and errors. This summer, keep trying.
Glenn Mollette is an syndicated columnist and author of 11 books and read in all 50 states. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of this paper.