Everything can be taken from a man but one thing…

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankel

Sitting in a hospital all day today while my father-in-law was getting surgery I watched as families would bring a family member in for surgery and then sit in the waiting room, many looking sick with worry, as we all waited to get word on how our loved ones were doing.

As we sat there waiting I thought about the fact that we were all helpless to do anything about the circumstances that had brought us there today, and we had no control over whether our loved one would make it out of surgery okay or not. It highlighted the fact that anything can be taken away from any of us at any time. We could lose a loved one, we could lose a job, we could lose a business deal, we could lose our health, we could lose a home, we could lose a vehicle…everything can be taken away from us at anytime…

Everything but the one thing Victor Frankel shared in the opening quote – our ability to choose the attitude with which we will face those circumstances. That’s something no one can ever take away from us. That’s something we will always get to decide.

We were one of the blessed families today whose relative made it out of surgery okay and I’m able to be here with my father-in-law in the hospital where he will spend the night until tomorrow when he’ll hopefully get to start his three month recovery process. This past week hasn’t been easy…not for him and not for those of us caring for him. We’re all going on very little sleep and dealing with all kinds of stress and there have been moments when I’ve allowed myself to feel down about it. That’s why I’m grateful to have read Victor Frankel’s quote today because it helped remind me that while I can’t choose the circumstances we’re going through, I can choose my attitude about it.

We all need that reminder once in a while. I hope it proves to be as helpful to some of you as it was for me today. And to share a trick that always helps me improve my attitude is – think about all the things you’re grateful for. Today I’m grateful for the surgeon who helped my father-in-law, and the nurses taking care of him, and all the people who’ve been praying on his behalf, and God. Thank you!!!

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )


  • Capt.Juan Matute says:

    I experienced a similar circumstance; 2013 the emergency appendectomy on my 13 y.o. Son. I hated the doors that read ONLY MED PERS, I watched as they wheeled him with tears, I tried to hide mine. I Prayed the entire time of his surgery. At 19 handsome as ever, my wife’s nephew cost me my 6 fig job in NY, our home and turned our life upside down. I struggle to rebuild my life and career, certified recently as a Fed. Contractor, with pending divorce. No truer than Victor Frankel’s quote, thank you. For now I search for potential angel funding, just to hold $50K on business account to secure a new financial statement to remove the “bid limit on my business”. Prayers & Hope, and Right Attitude …

  • Renae Walker says:

    So how did things go today? Did he make it out if
    the hospital?

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