The Wall


“The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you become the plaything to circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity…” – Viktor E. Frankl

The wall – an obstacle I cannot get beyond. There comes a moment in every life, I suppose, when we each are stymied by the wall. The wall of missed opportunity; the wall of misunderstandings; the wall of poverty; the wall of doubt and mistrust; the wall that is much like a steep incline where we are wearied by the effort of trying to mount it; so many walls.

And yet, are not most walls those of our own making? Did we not build them ourselves brick by brick? Or, if we did not do it ourselves, did we not contribute to their structure in some shape or form?

It is so easy to point the finger of blame, to avoid self-examination and accountability. Yes, I know there are some circumstances beyond our control. Sometimes the fates seem to align in such a way that we are well and truly trapped. But, for the most part, we do have a choice in how we live our lives – even if it is only how we respond to a given situation.

May we each be given whatever tool we need; meet whatever person we need, to dismantle the wall.

“Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.” – Elie Weisel

“There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  – Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Judging Others


We are given to judgments, whether it is of a practical nature such as making a decision of what to eat or what to wear etc. These are harmless judgments. But then there are the harmful judgments that lead to causing others grief and pain. Why? What makes us think we are so wise, so all-knowing that we can afford to sit in judgment? How arrogant we can be. As a child I was taught we should not judge unless we had walked a mile in that person’s shoes. I think that is wise advice. We all have individual experiences and how we react to those experiences is influenced by a wide variety of factors. We cannot know what another person is going through. We cannot know, even in the closest of relationships, what is happening in a person’s heart, mind, and spirit.  So let us remove our judge’s robes and live and let live.

“Judge tenderly, if you must. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you are not having to fight.” – Traci Lea LaRussa