The Power of Relativity

“I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet.” ~Ancient Proverb

Have you ever been around one of those people who is an eternal optimist? The kind of person who, after you have just vented to them about some rotten thing that has happened to you, comes up with a reason that it’s really a good thing?

Isn’t it irritating? ūüėČ

Actually, it’s all about perspective. What that eternal optimist knows is that “good” or “bad” depends on how you look at it.

The Law of Relativity states that any given circumstance is neither good nor bad, it just is. Good or bad is a meaning that we attach to the circumstance, based on our thoughts.

And we can change our thoughts…

No matter how bad our circumstances may be, we can always find someone who has things worse than we do.  Understanding that it could always be worse can help us to remain grateful in hard times. The more frequently we practice gratitude for the things we have, the happier we are.  The Law of Relativity, however, is about more than just putting a positive spin on our hard times. The power in the Law of Relativity comes as we begin to see our setbacks as blessings.

Watch what happens when a girl who was told to never say “can’t” takes that advice to heart…

Jennifer had been born into a circumstance that most people would find difficult–if not impossible–to overcome, and her parents knew that. ¬†They knew that it was important for her to BELIEVE in her capabilities, and to find ways to work with the situation she was in. ¬†They taught her to think in ways that led to her success.

Video:

Here is a link to another video that shows the power of perspective:

If I Only Had a Car

No matter how bad our circumstances may be, we can always find someone who has things worse than we do.  Understanding that it could always be worse can help us to remain grateful in hard times. The more frequently we practice gratitude for the things we have, the happier we are.  The Law of Relativity, however, is about more than just putting a positive spin on our hard times. The power in the Law of Relativity comes as we begin to see our setbacks as blessings.

Scripture Story 1:

In the Book of Mormon, Alma goes on a mission to the Zoramites. ¬†As he is preaching, he is approached by a group of people who are poor. ¬†They desire to worship God, but, after having worked hard with their own hands to build the synagogues where the Zoramites worship, these poor people were cast out and persecuted because of their poverty. ¬†They explain their situation to Alma, and what does he say? ¬†“It is well that ye are cast out of your synagogues.”

What?  How can it be a good thing to be cast out and persecuted for being poor? In Alma chapter 32 verse 12 it says:

 I say unto you, it is well that ye are cast out of your synagogues, that ye may be humble, and that ye may learn wisdom.

The very thing that they were so discouraged about, Alma saw as a great blessing because it would lead them to greater understanding.  And that greater understanding had the potential to free them from their current, discouraging circumstances.

Scripture Story 2:

Another Book of Mormon missionary, Ammon, also had an experience with seeing bad things as good.

Ammon was serving a mission among the Lamanites. ¬†He starts out by becoming a servant to the king, and is instructed by the king to go with a group of servants to tend his flocks of sheep. As these servants are tending the king’s flocks, robbers come to scatter and steal the sheep. ¬†The servants begin to panic. ¬†The last guys who lost the king’s sheep also lost their lives. ¬†But Ammon saw things differently:

 Now the servants of the king began to murmur, saying: Now the king will slay us, as he has our brethren because their flocks were scattered by the wickedness of these men. And they began to weep exceedingly, saying: Behold, our flocks are scattered already.

  Now they wept because of the fear of being slain. Now when Ammon saw this his heart was swollen within him with joy; for, said he, I will show forth my power unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me, in restoring these flocks unto the king, that I may win the hearts of these my fellow-servants, that I may lead them to believe in my words.

 And now, these were the thoughts of Ammon, when he saw the afflictions of those whom he termed to be his brethren. (Alma 17: 28-30)

Ammon saw that the “bad” situation as being good because it would ultimately benefit those whom he desired to teach.

“You can be bitter, or you can be better.” ¬†Overcoming the tendency to see the negative is one of the most powerful benefits of understanding the Law of Relativity. ¬†When we are able to keep our thoughts positive, regardless of the circumstances we are facing, then we are able to benefit from every circumstance. ¬†We have been commanded to give thanks in all things (see¬†1 Thessalonians 5:18), and marvelous blessings are promised to those who do (Doctrine and Covenants 78:19).

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For more on this topic, read Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (free!)

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