Whoever said, “Life’s a bowl of cherries” was either jokin’ or crazy – maybe both.

I remember an old guy I used to see around town who’d say, “Piece of cake,” every time I asked him how it was goin.’  To be honest, he always had the persona he’d just lost his best friend or the dog bit him the day before.  He was a grump for sure, but at least he spoke when spoken to.  I’d whisper something like, “Yeah Right!” when he’d say that.  He’d often retaliate by giving me a verbal lashing of, “What’d you say?” I’d counter with something like, “Great day!  Ain’t it?”  He’d often grunt and go on.

Then there was the time my aunt and uncle treated my brother and me to some ice cream after church.  She was a big woman, much larger than my uncle, and wore the pants.  It was obvious he’d had his fill of her nagging that day and when he opened the door for her, he said, “Get outta the car Fatso!” It didn’t take long for her blood to boil, and she blurted out, “What’d you say?” My uncle immediately became quite meek and whimpered, “Nothing dear.”

Life ain’t easy.  Some circumstances we bring upon ourselves; others we can’t help.  Then there are the outside forces of others prying upon us.

I’m reminded of someone else in my past that once said I’d amount to nothing more than a sanitation engineer.  (Poor gal wound up losing her mind and was institutionalized.)

I’ve had my shares of ups and downs, made mistakes, been beat up, knocked down, spit on a time or two, dealt my fair share of lumps of coal, and been bit by fluffy, but I’ve never been a quitter!

I’ve always wondered what makes people just give up or kill themselves.  I don’t claim to be a genius, but I know in my soul it’s a lack of HOPE that makes people do such things.

Call me a dreamer, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I have expectation each morning.  I have a faith in someone higher than me, a desire to inspire before I expire that drives me.

I remember that bully in school, there’s always one!  He’d beat on anybody that looked at him wrong, but I didn’t fear him like everyone else.  I was dumb, I guess, and stood up to him one day.  He was a good foot taller than me, but that didn’t matter.  He hit me and I countered with a swing.  He knocked me down.  I brushed myself off and got back up.  He knocked me down.  I got back up, and he knocked me down again.  I think he got tired of that after a while, because he walked away.  Oddly enough, he never picked on anyone again after that.

There could be a whole lot said about those who won’t quit.

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org.

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