Like all of us, the individuals you’ll read about didn’t have easy lives. They faced difficulties, but despite those difficulties, their lives were full and meaningful. That’s what happens when you find something worth living for.

What are some of the obstacles keeping you from living a full life? Are you focusing more on those than the positives you have going for you?

Mahatma Gandhi had trouble speaking publicly yet he became a great leader. Mother Teresa, although she was a nun and worked for God, felt distant from him—depressed for much of her life. Yet she helped thousands of impoverished people!

Overcoming injustice is hard in itself. But I know that for some of you, your very life is a hardship. Just getting through the day is.

What gets others through?

What got the young Malala through when she was shot in the head at the age of 15 by the Taliban as she fought for the rights of girls and women to have an education? What got Nelson Mandela through when he spent 27 years in prison? I hope that by reading these individuals’ stories, you will be encouraged. You may realize that it’s possible for you too to find ways of overcoming what holds you back.

But before they could do what put them in the history books, the heroes of human rights you’ll read about had to have a purpose for their lives. They all saw situations in the world they couldn’t accept. Instead of focusing on their own problems they reached beyond themselves to address problems they saw in the world.

As they worked to make a difference, their life became rich and meaningful. Pain and struggles became easier to withstand. They focussed on what was hurting others and forgot about themselves.

This has been Part 4 of the series A Life Worth Living. Read Part 5 – What Bothers You?