A little thing can be enormously significant. Retired Brigadier General Robinson Risner was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for more than seven years. He was in solitary confinement for five of those years. He suffered from cold, heat, malnutrition, and lack of fresh air.
He was totally deprived of any human comfort. He jogged in his cell by the hour. When he became so frustrated he had to scream, he stuffed his underwear into his mouth to muffle the scream. He would not give his captors the satisfaction of knowing his frustration.
One day, in the depths of despair, General Risner lay down on the floor and looked all around his small cell. He put his eye next to the cinder blocks, hoping that there would be a crack in one of them. Fortunately, there was a minute opening and he saw a single leaf. Later he stated that seeing that evidence of life outside was a tremendously uplifting and life-changing event.
When I heard this story, most of my complaints in life suddenly fell into context, and I resolved to be more appreciative of the many blessings I had instead of complaining about what I did not have. Fact: A quiet glance around you will reveal many blessings that you have already received and will continue to receive. Expressing appreciation for these blessings is a winning approach to life.
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