I will never again let life tell me, “no.”
It’s so easy to quit when met by obstacles. Or to give up when it seems like trying is all you’re doing, never succeeding. Or to feel like a victim to life. Who hasn’t been there? Today I’m reminded of the woman who taught me the meaning of empowerment. Vilma survived both World Wars while living in eastern Europe, dangerous escape to Austria with two young daughters, the loss of her baby boy, and a marriage that involved many horrors, including rape. “Many times,” she told me, “I want to die, but inside me something could not quit.” Eventually she left Europe and her husband, started her own business and a new life. She thrived, became very successful and lived a full 97 years. I asked her once what got her through all the hard times. “You listen and I tell you,” she said. “No matter what I go through I know I am here for a reason or else I would be dead, so it is my job to find a reason.” Then she took my face in her hands and that little woman, just barely four and a half feet tall, in her thick Hungarian accent said, “I make choice to never let life tell me no. I made life say yes to me!” When we’re crumbling under the weight of experience, or life wants to know what we’re made of, instead of backing down, stand tall and courageous, with the wisdom of a true heroine to encourage.