Choices, Growing Up


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The chance you had is the life you’ve got. You can make complaints about what people, including you, make of their lives after they have got them, and about what people make of other people’s lives, even about your children being gone, but you mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.” I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.

– Wendell Barry, Hannah Coulter

Growing up requires you to let go of seeing things the way you want them to be and seeing them instead as they are. I understand the same rule applies to giving thanks and, as it happens, to rejoicing.