Two men looked out
From the selfsame bars,
One saw mud,
The other saw stars.
That’s a great little poem with a big message. What do we see when we look out and around us? Is what we see more a reflection of how we are than how other things, people, or circumstances are?
There are plenty of difficult things that come our way, and no amount of Pollyanna attitude will make them go away. The decision to control our reaction to negative circumstances, however, may result in a much better ability to see good things and feel good feelings even when we are in the midst of those difficulties.
Murphy’s Law suggests that whatever might possibly go wrong, will. Seeking for a higher, more soul satisfying approach to our lives offers a lot more sunshine and an improved ability to see stars rather than mud.
Nephi reminds us, in 2 Nephi 10:23, to “cheer up [our] hearts and remember that ye are free to act for [ourselves] — to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.” On a daily basis, freely choosing to rid ourselves of the negative approach — the Murphy’s Law mentality — will strengthen our cheer factor. That factor grants us more strength to continually see the good in others and in ourselves.
Over time we see that we cling to better ideas and thoughts, and grow gracefully into those higher ways our Savior offers — and we more closely approach incorporating the laws that will grant us eternal life!
If “life consists of what a man is thinking all day” (Ralph Waldo Emerson), how is your life going? What blessings are waiting for you as you add to your faith and build on a higher way of thinking?
Amulek tells us that we should have faith and patience so that we can plant the word in our hearts, that we may try the experiment of its goodness. (See Alma 34:3) He is speaking of Christ and of His gospel. Can we not exercise that same kind of patience and faith in other things, once we have built a strong foundation on the Rock of our Salvation, and follow Christ’s example of seeing the good?
Surely, it is a higher way of living. Certainly, it presents to us a higher, sweeter law by which to govern ourselves.
Mud and stars. Amazing that two people in the same place can see such a different picture. One is looking up and the other down. Does Murphy’s Law grow because we are looking down — at the world, at ourselves, at others, or at life in general? Looking at the sidewalk may offer up a penny now and then. But by not looking up, we miss the smiles of others walking along, near us. We miss the trees and flowers and animals. We miss the sky. We may miss the beauty of the whole life experience.
The difficulties will come and go. The gospel principles are constant. Others may come and go, or fluctuate in their integrity or mood. We may choose to be constant. We may choose to see more clearly and more positively. It offers us the opportunity (and blessings!) of enjoying the higher laws!