Making Lemonade

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

You know the saying. Actually that’s not exactly how it goes. It’s an expression used by Dale Carnegie and can be found in his last book published in 1948, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. The title of a chapter is actually “If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade”. It’s his Rule #6

When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make a lemonade.

If you follow the link you can read that chapter. It is inspiring, and perhaps can help you if you are facing issues in your life. However, I’ve found there is a side to the lemonade stand that isn’t always uplifting. It’s when we’re caught making lemonade that we are at our most vulnerable to depression and self-pity.

In my own life I’ve faced that pile of lemons and as I turned to people I love and trust for support I found them in their own lemonade stands! It was at this point I recognized that we try to live as if Life is a Lemonade Stand. We believe it’s about making the best of what is handed to us, and we convince ourselves that’s a good thing! However, we can get stuck in our own lemonade stands and forget to be involved in the world and the people around us.

There have been times I’ve resolved my issues and when I returned to the world found that someone I loved had suffered a fate worse than I ever faced. I was devastated that I hadn’t been there for them. I felt like the worse friend in the world. There’s no going back from something like that. When you aren’t there. . . you lost the opportunity to help. To Serve.

Carnegie’s chapter continues on this theme. The lemonade idea disappears when we connect to our fellow-man. “Trying to please others will cause us to stop thinking of ourselves.” Churning out that lemonade focuses us on our problem, pain, and we wallow in self-pity. Isn’t the focus supposed to be to “Love Thy Neighbor”?

Perhaps we must reach out to those people who are hurting. Forget our circumstances and pain and allow God to work through you in your life, and then we help another make lemonade for the world.

Be Well!

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