Many of us have had to make some type of adjustment in our lives. Those adjustments varied, based upon age, experiences and other factors.

The longer we live, the more challenging and varied those adjustments become. Some of us learned in the “Experiencing God” course by Henry Blackaby of some general categories of adjustments.

>> In our circumstances – job, home, finances and others.

>> In our relationships – family, friends, business associates and others.

>> In our thinking – prejudices, methods, our potential, our past and others.

>> In our commitments – to family, church, job, plans tradition, and others.

>> In our actions – how we pray, give, serve and others.

>> In our beliefs – about God, his purposes, his ways, our relationship with him and others.

Every day of the week, someone is having to make major adjustments in life because of illnesses, deaths or some other challenge like caring for a family member or friend with special needs. Still others are walking around with internal scars from wounds received from persons who seemingly take delight in using their tongue to verbally attack and abuse.

Such experiences can wear on the person that sometimes ultimately leads to a feeling of hopelessness and a sense of being a nobody. Though one may experience pain in these and other similar circumstances, I want to challenge you to keep your head up and be hopeful, nurturing those qualities that cultivate expectations of fulfillment, which is the definition of “hope,” in spite of hard times.

Regardless of our circumstances and experiences, I want us to keep songs of hope and positive thoughts in our hearts. We do not always know what the persons in whom we come in contact are going through.

Some of us are able to mask our hurts well by the smiles we wear on our faces. Ulysses S. Grant said, “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”

Everyone has personal influence, positive and/or negative. Rather than contribute to negative outcomes, why not be an ambassador for hope, regardless of any situation. An unknown writer tells us, “The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.”

Michael Jordan reminds us, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.”

Duke Ellington tells us that “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”

Therefore, my brothers and sisters of every color, religion, nationality and gender, remember, “Whatever our lot, Thou hast taught us to say, ‘It is Well with My Soul.’”

Remember the Japanese Proverb: “Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

Remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”

Allie E. Brooks Jr. is a retired educator who was the Florence School District One superintendent and formerly the principal at Wilson High School.

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Allie E. Brooks Jr. is a retired educator who was the Florence School District One superintendent and formerly the principal at Wilson High School.

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