There's a story of a town drunk that had two sons. One of the sons was very successful in business and in life; the other was a no-good drunk like his father. When people inquired why the second son had become a drunk, he'd say, 'What else would I be? Look who my father is!' Tellingly, when those same people would ask the first son why he was so successful, he'd answer, 'What else would I be? Look who my father is!'
Each of us have different circumstances in life. Some have had a difficult past, others face hard situations today, and most of us will find ourselves in difficult circumstances at some point in the future. The Lord has taught us through the prophet Lehi that it isn't our circumstances, but our choices that matter: 'There is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon... Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself' (2 Nephi 2:14, 16).
In a way, we face the same choice as the sons of the town drunk. We can make an excuse of our circumstance and allow ourselves to be acted upon, or we can "gird up our loins" and use the redeeming power of the Atonement to act for ourselves. We can allow the passions of our flesh to determine our destiny, or we can have the strength through Christ to be anxiously engaged in good causes and a disciplined life.
This is the choice we face every morning when we get out of bed. What will you choose today?