Staying Upbeat

“Fans, for the past two weeks, you’ve been reading about a bad break.  Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”  So begins an address by Lou Gehrig to fans at Yankee Stadium.  Lou Gehrig played every game for a consecutive streak of 2,130 games over a period of 17 years.  Lou Gehrig had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or better known today as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Gehrig ended his short address:  “So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.  Thank you.”

Lou Gehrig’s message has become known as the Gettysburg address of baseball.  At the time, people couldn’t understand how Lou Gehrig could remain so upbeat when he was facing certain death.  As the COVID-19 virus is wreaking such havoc on the world, many people are struggling to remain upbeat.  It’s interesting to reflect on Lou Gehrig at these times.

One way that people use to stay upbeat is to recall memories of vacations, parties, special events, and similar moments of joy.  But the best memories are those when you did something meaningful for others.  Creating your own personal memory book is a great exercise to lift your spirits.

Another way people stay upbeat is to do little acts of kindness for others.  These moments can last for a long time and sustain you through tough times.

All of us probably know someone who always makes us feel better.  When people are down, they reach out to these supportive persons.  What another person can do to help is to put the current moment in perspective.  They can also encourage and motivate by simply having a positive outlook on life.

Some people have a collection of songs that always lift their spirits.  Others might enjoy reading biographies of inspiring people.  There are also great stories of people overcoming challenges on the Internet that can be helpful.  For others, their faith can be very valuable.

Staying upbeat in the face of challenges is a valuable character trait.  It’s one to be shared with others.  Can you imagine what our society would be like if we focused on the positive in times of challenges?  How might our society change if we approached our struggles with the spirit of Lou Gehrig?  Staying upbeat can be tough, but it can also be a moment of truth that defines who we are.

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As you face a challenging time, imagine a Lou Gehrig opening line you would give to others in your life.

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