WHAT IF..... Everyone was kind and treated one another with compassion?
WHAT IS..... Not everyone cares about other's feelings, and there will always be people in this world that we don't like.
BUT..... Though I don't have to like everyone, I do need to be kind to all, and as I tell my children - if I can't do that, then it's time to step away for awhile...
WHAT IF..... I had a shiny new car with an odometer set at "0" and the fresh smell of leather?
WHAT IS..... My 1998 Explorer is inches away from 200,000 miles, has squashed French fries
between the seats and a transmission on its way out.
BUT..... It's hanging in there and has carried my family safely over many miles. Its seams have nearly burst with laughter, music, friends and memories...
WHAT IF... My husband was closer to his family and truly understood the importance of hearts that long to be near him?
WHAT IS... Something happened somewhere along the way that made him step away.
BUT... I still love him - we all do. And I, myself, am blessed to have that closeness with my own dear family. I pray that someday he will find his way back and experience that kind of joy.
WHAT IF... All of our bills were paid in full and our balance of debt sat at ZERO?
WHAT IS... Medical bills and major setbacks haunt me daily as we struggle to keep up and not let the undertow consume us.
BUT... We have a roof over our heads, food on our table, God in our hearts and friends at our side. We have healthy bodies to earn our living and have everything that we TRULY need.
WHAT IF... I had the job of my dreams; writing and taking pictures of all the people and things I love most, and being able to earn enough to live comfortably.
WHAT IS... I am a para educator in a learning-disabled classroom, making an annual sum that - as a single person - would put me way below poverty level.
BUT... I cannot put a price on the lives that I touch, the children I help...nor the heart-warming rewards of smiles, hugs and "thank you's"... And how grateful I am to have a job where I can be close to my own children and home when they need me.
WHAT IF... I was able to travel, to visit places I've never been before; to see art, hear music, experience beauty that lies beyond the borders of the only place I really know?
WHAT IS... Vacations and glorious destinations are out of reach; something to dream about for the future.
BUT... How fortunate I am to live in a wonderful state, in a country that is free; where opportunities lie around every corner and true beauty resides all around me...
WHAT IF... Everything was easier; there was no suffering, no sicknesses, no struggles, no failings?
WHAT IS... Hard times and difficulties come to us all in many shapes and through many sources.
BUT... It is through these struggles that we learn compassion, strength, perseverance, patience and above all, faith. And when joy does come - and it always does - it is that much sweeter.
I could live my life pondering the "What If's", and grow dissatisfied with "What Is".
BUT... my life is a melody of highs and lows that has been orchestrated into a beautiful symphony of memories and moments. And though there are things - that if given the opportunity - I would change, I am content in the place where I stand and choose happiness as the course on which to charter my life.
WHAT IF... All of my wishes came true?
WHAT IS... Chances are, they never will.
BUT... I am still one of the richest people I know!