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It's easy to be grateful when everything is going well--or even tolerably. To be thankful for a beautiful day, for the grace of a walk in the fores t, for the warmth of the hearth, the comfort of being with friends... .
It is less easy to be grateful when we are met with hardships and challenges.
In Jiri Mucha's prison journal, Living and Partly Living, he related his ability to bear his ordeals to the stabilizing ballast in the bottom of large ships. Mucha's thought was that the character strengths we learn early in life endure. They show themselves when misfortunes challenge us. These learned strengths act like a shield that lends the courage and confidence to journey forth. First, into the larger world; then, too, when the broadside of Fate unexpectedly rams into us.