September 15

I could do nothing without my problems;
they toughen my mind.  In fact, I tell
my assistants not to bring me their
successes for they weaken me, but
rather to bring me their problems, for
they strengthen me.

Charles Franklin Kettering


Today's Meditation:

We tend to like to avoid problems, don't we?  We like to have things easier than problems allow us to have them, but we don't always keep in mind that it's the problems that keep us thinking and learning, the problems that keep our minds and wits sharp and functioning well.  In fact, without problems, how many of us would have jobs that keep us gainfully employed if it weren't for problems and issues that must be solved?

There have been times in my life when I've wished that problems  would just go away, and that my life would get easier.  But what I haven't known is that my life wouldn't necessarily have gotten easier if the problems had gone away; rather, I might have just had some momentary relief from problems.  And I would have lost the opportunity to do much of the learning that has been most valuable to me in the long run.

Charles recognizes the importance of dealing with problems in the long run.  He recognizes that our brains and our psyches need challenges to deal with if they're to be kept sharp and if they're to continue to grow and develop.  It's hard sometimes to understand his position when we start to focus on the negative side of problems, but when we see them as something that must be overcome in some way, then we start on the search for a solution to them, and in that search lie growth and expansion.  In the avoidance of problems lie stagnation and boredom.

While most people in the world try to avoid problems, we can welcome them--within reason as to the type of problems, of course.  And in welcoming them we can know that we're pushing our own limits and improving our selves and our minds in one of the most important ways possible.

Questions to consider:

How do we come to regard problems in negative ways?

Think of some "problems" in your life that have turned out to be blessings.  How did they seem originally?  What would have happened if you had been able to avoid the problem?

How do problems strengthen us?

For further thought:

The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting
otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.

Theodore Rubin

More on problems.


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