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It's Tough, Hey? - Life Choices

Depression is a world wide mental illness.

 1  in 10 US adults report depression (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/)

1 in 10 US adults report depression (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/)

Exactly how tough are you?

Life is tough. We are born into a world where we are dependent upon everyone around us to provide for our needs. We have no choice in the parents that we are given, the country that we are born in or the circumstances that surround us. Many of us will muddle through our lives yearning for the things that we don't have; complaining about the things that always seem to slip through our grasp while blaming our circumstances upon others without appreciating the things that we do have in our lives.

It doesn't take much for a person's circumstances to change. Life is fragile. Illness can spread like wildfire robbing us of our health. A natural disaster can occur within seconds. A person who has everything can lose it all within a few breaths. You could wake up one morning as the richest person in the world and by the afternoon everything you had, could be gone. We live in glass houses and all it takes is one stone to have the glass shatter and the house tumble down around us. Would you give up or would you rebuild?

The choices that we make during our lives can set the wheels in motion for what we may perceive as a disaster. It could be a difference of opinions that leads us down the road of destruction. It could be laziness or negligence or even stubbornness that provides us with circumstances we may find difficult to manage. A bad decision could result in a happy family being torn apart, the loss of loved ones and a feeling of despair that seems to engulf us for eternity.

Happiness may seem to be unobtainable as life is full of challenges that we often struggle to meet. Physical and materialistic goals are the hardest to reach and maintain. When we loose something that we desired it may seem easier to give up and to dwell in self pity blaming others for the change in our circumstances rather than looking at ourselves and accepting, learning and moving on to the next challenge.

Tough people, tough choices.

Life is like a game of snakes and ladders. Every day is a square upon the board and each square holds a different set of circumstances that could lead us to a myriad of places. We have the opportunity to take a step forward or move a step or two backward.

There are people who seem to have luck upon their side and who move forward quickly, while others appear to have the worst of luck and end back at the beginning never reaching the top. Some players in this game climb ladders up while others slide down. Often our journey through life is not caused by something we do, or something that others do to us but simply through random selection or circumstances that we can't control, like the roll of dice.

People who have been dealt the worst of what life can ofter and who then rise up in the face of adversity to regain control, are admirable. Their choice to face their fears and regain their lives can appear effortless and simple. There are some really tough people in the world, and they are not all WW Wrestlers.

Kiera Brinkley of Portland, Ore (USA) was two when she lost the full use of her legs and arms. This young teenager had a bacterial infection that raged in her blood and if Doctors had amputated she would have died. Kiera is passionate about dancing. Her mother in a recent article published in the Huffington post commented that Kiera "Doesn't have boundaries. She just has hurdles like we all have. Life for her wasn't going to be "You can't do that.""

Kiera Brinkley

Mountain climbers face tough challengers that can turn into life changing moments.

Mountain climbers face tough challengers that can turn into life changing moments.

Extreme Mountaineers are often faced with tough choices. UK Climbers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates in 1985 were descending a hard route in the Peruvian Andes when Simpson broke his leg putting both their lives in jeopardy. Yates faced with a difficult decision for his own survival had to cut the rope that joined him and Simpson together and Simpson fell down the mountain into a crevasse. Miraculously Simpson survived and didn't give up. It took him three and a half days to struggle out and find his way to their camp. There story was made into movie based on Simpson's book of the events, "Touching the Void".

In 2001 on the 11 September the Twin Towers in New York, USA were targeted by terrorists. The world watched in horror as these landmarks burned and crumbled to the ground. Despite the sheer terror and devastating odds there are many survival stories from this catastrophe that were created not from chance, but from people who reacted swiftly to the challenges that they were confronted with and did not give up.

Other people in the world when faced with despair will often turn to religious beliefs and hope, to help them through difficult situations. Suleiman Balu, an Ethopian orphan determined to obtain basic assistance for his starving mother and sister was guided towards the help of World Vision. Though he had handicapped hand and lost his family to the extreme harshness of the climate and draught, Suleiman Balue has now establised the New Hope Center in Ambo Ethpopia for orphans who face tough and lonely journeys through life like his own.

In times of crisis, such as the New Orleans flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the more recent floods that have engulfed nearly two thirds of Australia's second largest state of Queensland, people will band together to provide support to those effected during tough times.

Over 15,000 homes in the state capital of Brisbane are now faced with the tough choice of staying with their flood prone homes, dismantling and rebuilding. Some people reliving the experience for the second time in less than 40 years.

Decisions are made easier when there is both physical support and compassionate support for a devastated community from friends, neighbors and even strangers. The Brisbane City Council turned away volunteers at its clean-up assembly points on Sunday 16th January 2011 after an overwhelming response for calls to help.

Thousands volunteer for Brisbane's flood clean-up

Tough People Survive

Tough people survive. No matter the obstacles that humans have faced, people rise up stronger and wiser for their experiences. For some people, it helps when faced with a crisis that might seem devastating, or when despair engulfs you to remember that somewhere in the world, someone else is worse off than you.

Life is hard. A person faced with suffering has every right to complain and to lose themselves in their grief but for how long should they allow themselves this grief before it becomes a greater destruction than the challenge they originally faced?

A person who is faced with life altering circumstances has the choice of releasing their grief and rising up out of depression to take control once again of their destiny no matter the hurdles they may face. When the decision to let go of grief becomes difficult, when personal support systems don't seem to be enough, professional help can guide you towards a healthier, stronger self.

The resilience of the human spirit is remarkable regardless of whether its fueled by a belief in religion, supported by compassion and the mate-ship of others or driven by the simple passion for loving a fragile and ever changing life.

Life is tough. How tough are you?

Empowering the human spirit can sometimes be a difficult challenge. Yoga and other forms of health and fitness can often be a catalyst for change.

Empowering the human spirit can sometimes be a difficult challenge. Yoga and other forms of health and fitness can often be a catalyst for change.

What hard times have you overcome?

Val Karas from Canada on March 31, 2016:

Tina - Great hub, indeed! It somewhat reminds of the old saying: "What ever doesn't kill you - makes you stronger". My 71 trips around the Sun would be a proof - today my state of health, happiness, and my looks are FAR from being a reflection of adversities I have been through. And I love the memory of them, they enrich me and make me a more complete human. - Again, quite an inspirational article, Tina!

Raghav Rathi from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. on April 08, 2011:

Excellent hub.

Tina Dubinsky (author) from Brisbane, Australia on February 03, 2011:

Thank you for the compliment seanorjohn. Admittedly I sometimes write with speech making in mind; I am highly influenced by Toastmasters.

seanorjohn on February 02, 2011:

Great hub and voted up. That is so fatastic to hear about the brilliant response of the volunteers in Brisbane. I think you could write some great hubs that teachers could use in school assemblies to inspire pupils.

Tina Dubinsky (author) from Brisbane, Australia on February 02, 2011:

Thanks Nellieanna, I like to remind myself sometimes that my life really is very easy compared to the challenges that others face.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on February 01, 2011:

Excellent hub and I shall read it again.

One main thing to "get" about life is its uncertainty, without which is would not be LIFE!

Life implies change, fluidity, possibility of unexpected twists and turns with their challenges. It is good!

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