Have I told you, I'm taking institute again? Have I told you how much I love it? It's been... about.... yeah, it's been like 2 years since I've taken Institute. I don't think I've taken it since I was a freshman and they changed the wards such that it was no longer a requirement to be in institute to be in a singles ward. I got lazy and busy, and since I got no grade for institute and it wasn't a requirement to graduate, I dropped it.
I'm really glad to be back in.
Today, we had such a fantastic lesson.
At the end of class, the teacher shared a story with us. His daughter was in the ward full of a bunch of newly weds, and at the end of Relief Society one day, they were asked to share something they'd learned since being married. A young woman raised her hand and told the following story.
Her husband was mean sometimes. Not on purpose, he just was just a little bit inconsiderate, and he wasn't even aware of what he was doing, but it would hurt her feelings. She'd take it out on him. She'd punish him. One day, after being hurt, he came home from school, and she told him she hadn't made dinner, and he was going to take her out to dinner.
They were very poor, and were on a very tight budget. But he knew he was in the dog house, so to speak, so he took her to dinner.
They sat down there eating, and you can just imagine the conversation, or lack thereof. He was trying to talk to her and make it up to her, but she wasn't responding. They finished their meals, and the waiter asked if they'd like desert. The wife decided she'd milk it for all she could, and asked for desert, but the husband said he'd be fine with out, since they had so little money. The desert came, and the wife ate every last bit of it, and offered none to her husband.
The check came, and the wife was feeling a little guilty, since they really had nothing to pay with... They looked at the bill, and saw that the total was crossed out, and it said "PAID". They turned to the waiter and asked what it meant.
The waiter explained there was an elderly lady sitting near both of them, who left a few minutes ago, but she grabbed the waiter and said she wanted to pay their bill. There was a note written on the reciept, and they turned it over and read:
"Life is too short to be unhappy."
Isn't that something?
It got me thinking. How quick we are to take revenge. How we damage our relationships for the sake of the pride, not realizing that pride heals itself but relationships don't.
I get frustrated often. Loved ones in my life do something that bothers me, and I withdraw and mope, and sit and wait for them to make it up to me. I punish them.
But in the end, it's never worth it. I've been making a concious effort these days to put my loved ones first. To be the first to back down and to say "I'm sorry." To be the first to send a note of love. To be the first to move on.
And it's made such a difference. Because life really is too short to be unhappy. Life is too long to let it have even the tiniest regrets in it.
That's what I learned today at Institute.