SETTING OUR SAILS

Fr Jim Cogley

During my 28 years in Kilmore Quay I constantly observed sailing boats set out from the harbor. A breeze was necessary to do so, as it was their source of power. While the wind was blowing from just one corner, some sailed East while others went West. It wasn’t the direction of the wind that determined their course but rather the set of the sails. Life is only a small fraction of what happens to us, what really matters is the remainder; what we do with what happens. Again and again we see individuals who are confronted with similar intolerable and inescapable situations. Viewed from a long-term perspective we find that they reacted or responded in very different ways. Some deeply resented what had befallen them and became bitter and negative. Years later they remained stuck in the past never having emerged from the tragedy. Others with a similar story had blossomed. They had not just emerged intact but much stronger as a result of the experience. It was obvious that the set of their sails must have been very different. Why exactly responses can be so different is a complex matter for consideration and not a reason for anyone to feel guilty.

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