I didn’t think I could like Mister Rogers more, until I read this line attributed to him in John Jantsch’s article, Do People Know your Story?: “It’s hard not to like someone once you know their story.” It’s one of those observations we know intrinsically to be true but is so deeply insightful it begs to be mulled over a while. So I did, and now turn to Jantsch’s question, What part of your childhood shaped you for this moment?, as the part of my story that I would like to share.
I’ve had a lot of surprises and unplanned life events happen in the last decade or so. Not at all unusual for those of us without a crystal ball to be sure, but how we manage sudden right turns when we planned on the slow meandering path to the left is all about how we learned to deal with change and the unexpected. I feel very privileged to have had role models in my life that encouraged me to take the reins of my own life and not let fear, self-doubt or even other people prevent me from choosing the life I want to lead.
Their lessons came to me subtly (critical for a stubborn gal like me). When I was a kid and complained about common childhood irritants I was asked, So how do you want this situation to end? What can you do to encourage that outcome? They turned a situation in which I felt “acted upon” into one where I felt empowered and capable of making a thoughtful decision about what I did next. Today, when setbacks strike, I don’t spend too much time moaning about it before I get busy. This perspective on life’s challenges are with me to this day, and I am forever grateful for it.