And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
|Adventures - my home in 1994|
There were 5 of us on board. My brother was off to college, my sister and I were two years apart and my little brother (11 years younger) was there along with my parents. We didn't have much money and sometimes used the oven to heat the boat. I got used to reading and doing homework by oil lamp. I'll never forget the cold showers. By a sick twist of fate, I also broke my arm in half that year (I still have two plates and 11 screws in there). We had no TV and little entertainment. Prior to 1995, I hated reading. But that summer I started with Tom Clancy novels and the Dark Tower series and ended up reading 13 books. I found a love for reading that has served me to this day.
I learned how to make due with what I have. I learned some of the true values of life. One Christmas on that boat, having no money, we all wrote each other letters detailing how much we love, respect and appreciate one another. To this day, that was one of the best Christmas I've ever had.
Real life, the love you have for family and friends, doesn't change whether you are with or without money. What does change (if you let it) is your character and your sense of entitlement.
That's a lesson I could only learn having been with money and without it. True character can't be bought or borrowed. It has to be earned via the experiences of life. Don't complain about your circumstances. Instead, look for opportunities to implement perseverance. Take note of the character you're building and ask yourself if it could be built any other way.
You can only know what you're made of when you're truly in the fire. Don't jump out too quickly. Comfort isn't always worth the price you'll pay in the long run to miss out on the character you need.