Be Prepared!

If you think only boy scouts and firefighters need to be prepared, consider these words by 19th century US Bishop Phillips Brooks:

“Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process.”

Every one of us will face challenges. Every one of us will be tested. Every one of will have choices to make, judgments to cast, and paths to choose that we can not even imagine at this point in lour lives. Today, you laid the groundwork for those challenges, those tests, those choices, those judgments – and yes, you laid the groundwork for those paths you cannot yet imagine. Tomorrow you will lay more groundwork. And the next day. And the day after that.

Everything you do is a building block for your future. Some things will happen that are way beyond your control.  Other things will happen because you are in control.  And how you carry yourself through all of them will determine who you are and what you stand for.

Follow your values today, and your values will guide you down the right path in times of stress – when that path you never imagined suddenly opens up before your feet.


  1. Thanks for a great post. Found you through blog interact. A reminder of such an important point. “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” – James Froude

    Character is a vital part in our happiness. And as Stephen Covey reminds us, our values are what guide us and make us “effective people”.

  2. I agree. Character is built up by many experiences and choices.All according to values.

  3. Larry O'Connell says

    If my memory is correct, Phillip Brooks was also the writer of the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

    Thanks for the great post.

  4. Sometimes I feel that no matter what I do to face the challenges that appear, I’ll never be truly prepared. Somehow everything is turned upside down and I have to make different plans, from a different angle.

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