Best of a Bad Situation

lincoln_ipad

They say ‘make the best of a bad situation.’ But I believe the bad situation makes the best of you. Even the irritations of life can be useful. President Abraham Lincoln showed us how this is so.

One of his cabinet appointees, Edwin Stanton, frequently found flaws with the president and criticized him – sometimes in public. Lincoln seemed to show excessive patience with him. The president was asked why he kept such a man in a high level position.

Lincoln characteristically responded with a story. He told about a time he was visiting with an old farmer. He noticed a big horsefly biting the flank of the farmer’s horse. Lincoln said he reached over to brush the fly away. As he did so, the farmer stopped him and cautioned, ‘Don’t do that, friend. That horsefly is the only thing keeping this old horse moving.’

Even life’s many irritations and problems have their place. They may cause us to change directions. Or prod us to greater achievement. Or keep us moving along when it’s easier to go nowhere.

Are you simply making the best of a bad situation, or will it make the best of you?

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