Yet, I pray you:
But with the word the time will bring on summer,
When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns,
And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;
Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us:
All's well that ends well; still the fine's the crown;
Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.
- William Shakespeare 1601
The well-known concept of “All’s Well that Ends Well” isn’t true in all cases because a positive ending alone does not necessarily serve as an excuse for the poor choices we may make along the way. Nor does simply saying “All’s Well that Ends Well,” justify or rationalize any unfair or unjust occurrences that we may experience. Nevertheless, since not enough situations in life may seem to go smoothly from start to finish in this unpredictable world in which we live, then quite often a positive ending is all we can hope for. In so many of the more complex events and issues we may face in life, “ups and downs”, mistakes and miscues as well as obstructions and obstacles are so frequently the norm as opposed to being the exception to the rule along the way.
Think for a minute about some of the proverbial “roller coaster” types of issues that you may have dealt with in your own life, or that you may have helped those whom you care about to deal with. There may be many examples to choose from including emotional or behavioral struggles, chronic bad habits or addictions, crisis situations or unexpected losses, etc.; the list can go on and on depending upon your personal experiences and circumstances. When you begin to reflect on some of those situations you may at first be inclined to recall to yourself thoughts about how bad things may have gotten such as “What a nightmare that was!” or “I can’t believe we had to endure all of that!” However, when it all works out over time, there is an almost indescribable relief that can follow when you can afterward say to yourself something like “Despite all that I (or we) went through, today everything is OK” That appreciative, reflective feeling is what “All’s Well that Ends Well” is about. Quite often our gratitude for the outcome we arrive at ends up by far outweighing the arduous journey that may have been experienced along the way.
Obviously and unfortunately, not all things end well. Still, it is so important never to let ourselves forget that sometimes things do; otherwise what is the point in trying? So when things do happen to turn out well over time, keep on reminding yourself to rejoice and take pleasure in your successes that resulted from your ongoing patience, persistence and perseverance through to the end. This will serve as a lasting source of inner strength and motivation that you can draw upon for your own future challenges and that you can share with others who are going through their own.