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‘It Is What It Is”, Or Is It?

April 28, 2016

There is this story of a great old wise man, a seer, who was coming to a town to speak.  Many, many people waited with great anticipation for his arrival and then went to hear him speak.  Among them, was this one young and cynical man, who went simply to challenge the wise man.  After the wise man spoke, there was a Q&A. When it was the young mans turn, he put out his cupped hands and asked the wise man what was in his hands. The wise man replied, “It is a little bird”, which was right. The young man was stunned, but he was still cynical, so he asked whether it was dead or alive. The wise man knew that if he replied, “it’s dead”, the young man would open his hands and the bird would fly away. If he replied “it was alive”, the young man would crush the bird in his hands. The wise man’s reply was “the answer is all in your hands.”*

This story, which I have posted here before, serves as a very powerful reminder for all, in how we approach all that comes, or is sent our way.

Many people are either unhappy, or very concerned with the current state of their lives and/or the world in general.  Too many just accept it.  You’ll hear them say with resignation, “it is what it is”.  They take the “it is what it is” attitude rather than the “it is what you make of it” approach.  Nothing can ever improve with the “it is what it is” attitude.  That attitude almost guarantees that things will get worse, or at a minimum stays the same, which is the same as worse.

“The answer is all in your hands” is a reminder to not accept, or be resigned.  You have the power to do something with whatever comes your way.  What comes your way, specifically comes your way because only you can use it to improve it or from it.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way”. – Dr. Viktor Frankl from “Man’s Search for Meaning”

“The answer is all in your hands” also means “you’ve got the whole world in your hands”.  In other words, you have a responsibility to make things better, no matter how small you perceive your contribution to be, or how low the odds seem to you to be.

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” – Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

The mere fact that you are doing something, rather than accepting, will give you a purpose.   By purposefully doing, you will find fulfillment and joy.  That will lead to you doing more.  The more you do, the more joy you will find.  Doing more will also inspire others to join in etc., etc., etc.

“A joyful person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” – Hugh Downs

“The Answer Is All in Your Hands.”

Heart and Soul

 *I wish I remembered the source for this story so that I could give credit where it’s due




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