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Music and the Spoken Word: A better direction

POSTED: August 28, 2017 10:01 a.m.
Deseret Connect/

Into every life come moments of rejection. Large or small, rejections sting — and sometimes keep stinging for a long time.

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Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.

Into every life come moments of rejection. Large or small, rejections sting — and sometimes keep stinging for a long time.

For example, a man toiled many weeks on a proposal at work. He carefully researched and prepared what he thought was a worthwhile offering. He worked long days, and sometimes long nights, to get the proposal just right before submitting it. After days of anxiously waiting, he received word that his submission was turned down. How should he proceed from here?

Similarly, a young woman worked hard to apply for graduate school. But for weeks, one rejection letter after another filled her mailbox. So what does she do now?

Or what about the teenager who tries, day after day, to make new friends and yet continues to feel lonely?

Most of us can relate to these experiences. Who hasn’t been turned down for a job, an opportunity, or a relationship? Yes, rejection happens to everyone, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. It can often lead to discouragement, anger, or even bitterness. Is it possible to stay strong and positive in the face of rejection?

The answer is clear, even if it’s not easy. The answer is simply to keep going. Keep trying. We may need to re-evaluate our goals and make some adjustments. We may need to rethink our approach, listen to trustworthy counsel, and ponder what we want most out of life. If we enlarge our perspective and don’t give up, prospects will begin to unfold. What we now see as a rejection may be the beginning of something better for us.

Consider this advice, attributed to Alexander Graham Bell: “When one door closes another door opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

Rejection does not need to be permanent or limiting. It can lead us to something better — personal strength, valuable learning, and the inspiration for some of our best ideas. So the next time you face rejection, stay strong and keep going forward. Look for an open door — one that opens to a different but possibly better direction.
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