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Thought for Thursday, September 21, 2023

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

Maya Angelou

Life has a way of throwing curveballs at us—unplanned events, setbacks, or even tragedies. These experiences inevitably change us, shaping our perspectives, beliefs, and sometimes even altering the course of our lives. But there's a critical difference between being changed and being reduced. Being changed implies evolution, a form of growth that can come from gaining new insights or developing emotional depth. It's often the trials we didn't ask for that give us a newfound understanding of who we are and what we're capable of.

On the flip side, the concept of being "reduced" by life's events is a form of diminishment. It happens when you allow challenges to narrow your spirit, hinder your potential, or make you feel less capable than you actually are. The crux of the matter lies in how you respond. Do you see challenges as insurmountable obstacles, or as opportunities for growth? The former can reduce you, sapping your energy and shrinking your world view, while the latter can expand your horizons, making you more resilient and adaptable.

At the end of the day, it's your narrative to control. While we may not have the power to choose our circumstances, we do have the power to choose our reaction to them. That's where your agency lies—in your response and interpretation of events. So when life alters you, let it be a transformation that adds layers to your character, rather than stripping them away. Embrace the complexities and paradoxes that come with life’s trials, because it is often in facing adversity that you discover strengths you never knew you had, and depths you never knew existed within you.

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