Navigating life’s sometimes rocky tests

Seems like every day we are tested in one way or another.

Whether it’s day-to-day life struggles with relationships, children, finances or the baggage each of us carry … and yes, we all have baggage.

Some of the biggest tests we face, though, reach right down to the core of who we are and tests our faith in humanity, especially when it comes to trust and honesty.

Life is just one big test after the other, but every test has significance in defining us as individuals.

When you walk down the street do you look at a person in the eyes and greet them, or do you look the other way to avoid contact?

When you have a difference of opinion or want to bring a shortcoming to someone’s attention, do you do it with tact and grace, or do you drive a dagger into them and twist the blade to make sure the damage is more severe or possibly irreparable?

We face these types of choices every day, and although we may not look at the way we handle these choices, in reality, they are tests that define who we really are and who we have become at different stages of our lives.

In children and young adults, the day-to-day tests of growing up are based on mimicking the way the adults around them react to similar situations rather than based on years of experience in interpersonal relationships.

Sometimes we set good examples and at other times, we don’t.

There are many tests we get a daily dose of in the circle of life.

Some are tests of integrity, loyalty, courage, strength, love, compassion, trust, honesty and respect, to name a few.

Like the tests I used to take in school, some of the choices are easy and some are more difficult.

While studying tests and test taking, an anomaly in testing was brought to my attention. It seems when people make up multiple-choice tests, the correct answer is usually either B or C (do not try this at school), but life, although having multiple-choices, doesn’t always have just one right answer.

There is always one wrong answer, but more times than not, there isn’t always one single right answer, so it is up to each person to make a choice on the right answer for them.

When someone passes me on the street, I make the choice to greet them with a word or two, but that is the right choice for me.

There are days though, I don’t — therein lies the test.

Do I let a bad day affect how I am with other people?

Some days I pass the test and don’t let a bad day affect my daily outlook, and some days I don’t pass — after all, I am human.

The only problem with all of these tests — we never get the chance to see the final report card because it’s usually delivered in the form of a eulogy or remembrances.

Sad, isn’t it?

While some will heed their life’s periodic progress reports and continually try to do the right thing, there are others that will remember, and carry on, the poor examples they have seen throughout life.

They will continually choose the one wrong answer on the multiple-choice test and grow to lead personally unfulfilled lives at the expense of others.

As I sit here in late in the evening writing this, I wonder what tests I will face tomorrow.

I know it will be multiple-choice, I know there will be at least one wrong answer and I know there may be more than one correct answer.

I only hope I passed today’s test and that it helps me pass all the other tests I will face down the road of life.

So, when life’s tests have you in the dark and you don’t know which answer is the right answer for you, reach down inside, apply your beliefs and find a way to shine.

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