The choice of being proactive or inactive

by Aaron Bastida on May 2, 2016 3:29:54 PM


Life is full of ups and downs. Every day we are faced with adversity, but the true test of our character is how we respond to that adversity. Are you going to shy away from it, or are you going to look it in the eye and confront it? Are you going to let it control you or are you going to face it and overcome it? People who have strong character are the ones who are going to do the right thing when no one else is watching because it is right, not for prominence or publicity. There is no such thing as an easy life and some people have harder times than others, but nobody has a perfect life where they don’t encounter some sort of hardship or difficulty.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

Not too long ago, I suffered the loss of a very close family member. Despite never smoking, my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer. About a year after her diagnoses, she got vey sick and passed away. My grandmother and I were very close so this was an especially difficult time for me. She passed away in December of 2015, right before Christmas and quarterfinals. It was hard to focus on school after losing someone so close. I told myself that I was going to make her proud and that is exactly what I did, because I ended my first quarter in college with a 3.566 grade point average. My grandmother is the one who motivates me to go to school day in and day out. She is the one who motivates me not to just show up and pass my classes but to excel and do the best that I possibly can.

Are you going to shy away from it, or are you going to look it in the eye and confront it?

Given any situation, we have the choice to be proactive or to be inactive. For example, you lose a loved one. The adversity was the fact that you lost a loved one but your true measure of your character is the fact that you are not letting it hold you back from doing what needs to be done. Difficulty struck and you are rising above most people by being strong for your family and showing up to work instead of expecting other people to be sympathetic toward you.

Although a situation may or may not affect the rest of your life, it is what you choose to do after that will either help or harm you. Traumatic incident encounterers should seek the help of a psychiatrist or someone who will help them recover mentally; coping with drugs and alcohol are only going to make matters worse physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Reacting positively or proactively is the best way to go about a difficult situation, especially when unexpected instances occur. It would have been easy for me to take advantage of my situation and reschedule my finals or take days off of work. My supervisor said that I could take off as much time as I need, but I showed up to work the next day.  

Reacting positively or proactively is the best way to go about a difficult situation, especially when unexpected instances occur.

My high school introduced virtues that would help us become better men such as integrity, humility, and brotherhood. I have adopted these virtues into my college career and try to live them out as best as possible. I try to live a life of integrity by doing what it is right and being honest to myself and to others. I try to be humble by not attracting attention to myself for any reason. I displayed brotherhood to my family by being there for them in a time of loss and supporting everyone. All of these virtues relate to this quote. People who have at least a couple of these virtues will be there for you in difficult times and making sure that you choose the right path following an unfortunate event.

Tips to responding to adversity are making sure that you are making wise decisions. Take a step back, and ask yourself if you are making the right decision and if it will harm you or help you later on down the road. Ask yourself how would your role model feel about the decision that you are making.

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Post by Aaron Bastida

A Cal State LA freshman with a love for golfing and lottery scratchers.