Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Vehicles are submerged during Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017.
Watching the wall-to-wall coverage of the devastation following Hurricane Harvey, many people have wondered how the inhabitants of Houston will ever recover. Gen. George Patton said, “The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” The people of Texas are in for a big test of their bounce-ability.
The ability to bounce back, keep things in perspective and then begin to climb or build again is a vital characteristic of those who ultimately achieve success. That bounce-ability has been part of the American experience from the beginning.
In contrast to our country’s stunning victories, breakthroughs, innovations and achievements, America and its people have endured epic failures, losses, dark days and heart-wrenching defeats. In addition to natural disasters, America has had many moments where it would have been easy to just cower in the corner or completely give up. Early battles of the Revolution, the initial days and weeks of the Constitutional Convention, Abraham Lincoln’s political career and personal life, Pearl Harbor, stock market crashes, space shuttle disasters and 9/11 are just a few of the countless moments when America plummeted to very low points. The resilience of our country and its people is part of our history, which continually propels us toward a better tomorrow.
There’s a story about a sign hanging from a rusty nail on the front porch of an old farmhouse that said much about the bounce-ability, persistence and resilience of the farmer who had lived there for 75 years. The sign read: “Burned out by drought, drowned out by flood, ate out by jack rabbits, sold out by sheriff — STILL HERE!”
Everyone has faced or will face adversity, challenges or obstacles. The determining factor for our success in the coming years will be this: What will we do when the adversity comes and we hit bottom? Will we persist or panic? Will we murmur or ponder? Will we look for reasons to push forward, or will we find excuses to quit or give up? Will we join in the group griping and pity parties in…