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It Could Always Be Worse

August 10, 2022

I am reposting this in light of my recent cancer experience…

When I was a kid, I used to occasionally complain to my father about some minor misfortune in my life. Whether it was big or small, he always replied with, “Things could be worse. You could be missing both of your legs!” Of course as a child I thought his response unrealistic. Once I even came back with, “Yeah, but I’ve got both of my legs!” Smack!

The point however was not entirely lost upon me. As I got older, I realized the basic truth in what my father had told me. While things could always be better, they could always be worse. When I wound up a single parent, I thought it was an awfully hard task but it could have been worse: I could have had three kids instead of just one. At least I had a job. You get the idea.

While I’ve never been one of those nauseating super optimists, I have learned not to be their counterpart either. I prefer to simply call myself a realist and accept what goes on in my life and realizing that it could always be better but also certainly worse. That in itself has given me a lot to be thankful for. When I look around at others on this planet, I’m really not so bad off after all.

I’ve gone through most of my life appreciating that little bit of advice offered by a stern father. I pass it on here publicly. If you’re down or it seems that you’ve been dealt a bad hand in life’s game, just remember: It could always be worse.

Photo by the author: A man looking hopeless in Luxor, Egypt – 2008.

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  1. Your father was so wise!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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