Our Choices Create our Lives
Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at the JCC Rockland in Nyack New York at their first “Women’s Health and Wellness Symposium.” Several hundred women attended the event to hear experts on topics like heart health, anti aging, hypnosis for relaxation, to name just a few. My speech was entitled “Choices”, and was based on the premise that the choices we make in our life ultimately determine our path and thus our health, wealth and happiness. I know that some people feel like life just happens to them and that they are not in control of their destiny. However I am of the belief that we have a tremendous amount of control over lives if we make healthy lifestyle choices, maintain a positive outlook and are open to life’s opportunities. I don’t mean to be too simplistic, of course you can be struck with a disease or lose your job, but when navigating life’s challenges we sometimes need that reminder “that our attitude will often determine the outcome of any given situation”, and that a positive approach will usually help us through any situation.
Another theme of my speech was about using your life for a higher more meaningful purpose and how the choices we make can often have a powerful impact on our communities and on our world.
I closed yesterday with one of my favorite stories that illustrates in a funny way how we are responsible for our own destiny. It gets a good laugh, but it also packs a good lesson; that we are all given the tools to live happy, productive and meaningful lives, but that we must choose to use these tools in order to shape our destiny.
There was this town on the edge of a river. One day there was a great storm and the river flowed over its banks, threatening to wash away all the houses. As the flooding continued, a patrol boat went around to each of the houses to see if anyone needed to be rescued. When the boat got to Sol Klein’s house, the water had already reached the first floor. Sol was upstairs looking out the second floor window. They called to him from the rescue boat: “Come on out! We’ll take you to higher ground!” But Sol Klein said: “No, I’m staying here. It’s O.K. God will take care of me.” So the patrol boat reluctantly moves on to the next house, and leaves Sol behind. Now the storm is still raging, and the water is still rising. Pretty soon it’s flooded the second floor of Sol’s house and he’s climbed up on to the roof. A patrol helicopter flies overhead and calls down to him: “You’ve got to get out of there! We’ll throw you a rope and you can climb up! Its your only chance!” But Sol says, “No! Go Away! I told you God will take care of me!” In a few minutes the river completely washes away Sol’s house and he drowns. When he gets up to Heaven he says, “God, I don’t understand. I had faith in you. How could you let me drown?” And God says, “Sol. Sol. I sent you a boat and I sent you a helicopter. What more did you want me to do?”