No one of us has escaped adversity. It is measured only by ourselves, judged perhaps by others, and it is only ours to overcome or deal with, whatever form it takes.
Recently we were at the zoo with some grandchildren, one of whom is a train aficionado. At the young age of 3 and a half, he knows all about Thomas trains and lives to play with them every day. So going to the zoo was not so much about elephants and tigers for him, but he knew (because his mom told him) that the zoo had a little train we could ride.
We decided to save the train toward the last so he would always have that to look forward to. When we finally arrived, we observed the train on blocks, with wheels off; it was under maintenance. As we tried to explain why we could not ride the train, his heart sank. He just wanted to go home. We were all sifting through a lump in our throats as we observed his sadness as he looked forlorn through the fence at the sleeping train.
There was still some zoo left, but he wasn’t interested; he was crestfallen. He has dealt with other adversities in life already, so far with positive outcome; so why should this journey be any different?
Xavier (X as we call him), was in a subdued state all the way home; melancholy. We turned a movie on in the car to distract him. He had great moral support, encouragement that another train day would come, but he had to still work through it himself; such is the nature of adversity.
We assured him that we would try to find a train to ride soon; as it turns out, we found one the next day. X is learning that adversity doesn’t always have to last forever.
We all learn how to overcome adversity; and it starts young. In this example, X learned that there is always a positive tomorrow, Moms can be trusted, grandparents can help, and the sun will come up tomorrow.