Guest Post: Michael Smith, M.D. is a practicing Psychiatrist and Medical Director for TLC. We’re always pleased to learn from “Doctor Mike.”
There are times when I think I should be a country western singer, except that I don't sing very well and I can't play the guitar. But I do have a ready supply of sad tales that could make for many heart wrenching country western ballads. I could write lyrics about misbehavin' kids, cheatin men (and women), lousy bosses, broken down pick up trucks, and run away dogs. Some of the stories are truly sad, and I'm left not quite knowing what to say.
Other stories aren't quite as earth shattering - like the time the woman in my office was all teary eyed and weepy because her cat died. After I expressed my genuine feelings of sympathy she responded with, "Oh it's ok, I have 24 more at home." I am often impressed with the strength and resiliency that some people demonstrate, and I wonder how I would handle similar problems.
It seems to me that everyone has a few things to work on and to overcome as they travel life's journey. Some of those opportunities for growth are not very subtle, such as come in the form of poverty, and sickness. Other opportunities for growth may be much less obvious.
Some people find themselves blessed with power, health, wealth, good friends, and a great family. What are their challenges? I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said something like, "if you really want to test a man's character, give him power." I agree with President Lincoln - character can be revealed by the good things of life, as well as the bad.
If you are fortunate enough not to be worried about the day to day challenge of paying the rent, what are your challenges? Is it your focus in life to improve your golf score, or to drive a fancier car (point of clarification - I have nothing against golf or nice cars) - or is there something more substantial you might accomplish?
Perhaps there remains a country song to be written about the challenge of having it all.