Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Value of Options

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every person has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all people have some.”

~Charles Dickens (adapted for gender inclusivity).

Everyone enjoys options in life. It’s when we’re starved of choice that despair truly has its opportunity to set in.

When the Present Does Not Appeal

There are times when our present or immediate future looks bleak. It happens to us all. What do we do with our options when this occurs?

It is easy to skirt back into one of our better-situated pasts and dwell on a nice moment. It’s an option for us. It’s a pleasantry that we can pour over ourselves.

Just as easily we might be plagued in our present because of our past; something’s come up that has reminded us of a bitter past annoyance or hurt. Perhaps we don’t want to grapple with it right now. We can just as easily go and grab a dream—something we’ve got stowed for that time ahead.

These both are forms of gentle and pleasant escape, for we all need to escape every now and again.

Yet, We Can Always Find Something to Be Thankful for

This is simply another option; the best option, in fact.

The Dickens quote above is a great, magnanimous truth that we can easily comprehend and indeed dwell upon for our true benefit.

I have several times spent an hour or two counting up more than one hundred blessings as a mood of languor for gratitude hit. It is amazing to do this simply because these hundred or so things are never small things—they’re big blessings!

And, of course, it always helps to find a shading comparison with others in this: we all have had our misfortunes; it’s not just us that have been dealt with our cruel blows. They come to basically everyone. No one ‘misses out’.

There Are Always Options

We’re so very blessed if we always see our lives rich with options, and there are always options. Even a certain quite famous World War II prisoner—a specialist physician, Viktor Frankl—was able to create options out of his hopeless concentration camp experience, with death, misery and tyranny all about him.

See, we are comparatively richly blessed.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.


  1. Richly blessed is right. A choice to be blessed is so critical to being joyful. How can we be anything less or how can we not work toward that? My entire life to now has been God's wonderful gift of encouragement and lessons to prepare me for what He has for me. Amen.

  2. God bless you, Shawn, in the majesty of courage. Steve.


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