Don’t let ‘it’ get you down

Jun. 10, 2014 @ 04:08 AM

There are times when life can get us down.

A bad day at work, a family issue or something in between can turn a positive day into a negative.

We have tendencies to let life’s little hiccups take control of us when simply working through the problem can provide a solution.

We read with great interest the story of Forest City Mayor Dennis Tarlton and his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

And in that story, one thing Tarlton said should resonate with all of us:

“This is definitely not a game-changer. It will not control my life. It is part of my life,” he said.

ALS is a motor neuron disease which is progressive in nature and attacks the nerves that come from the spinal cord. The causes of the disease are unknown and there is no cure.

This will be something that will affect Tarlton and his family for the rest of his life.

But Tarlton isn’t going to let this disease get the best of him. He is going to fight tooth and nail to get through it.

He could just as easily throw in the towel, give up and let ALS beat him.

He could augment his daily activities and his life to let the disease win.

His family could do the same thing.

But, that isn’t happening.

It provides a life lesson we can all stand up and take note of.

We all experience bad things in life. We have a conscious choice to let those bad things get the best of us. We can choose to give up and let those bad things win.

On the other side of the coin, we can fight it. We can battle and make the best of the life we have left.

Sometimes the easiest solution is to do just give up. We can think to ourselves that the effort to fight just isn’t worth it. Our family and support group can do the same thing.

But, sometimes it is the road less traveled that proves to be the best road to take.

Life is not supposed to be easy.

Someone once said “there is no birth certificate that says your life is going to be simple.”

At the end of the day, when faced with the tough things life throws at us, the choice on how we respond is ours and ours alone.

So, the next time you get a life curveball, the words of Tarlton should ring true.

Because “it” should never control your life … you should.

As for Tarlton, we applaud his stance toward his illness and he should know he, and his family, are in our thoughts and prayers.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.