People are burdened with things all the time. But while most of us would list mere inconveniences as our burdens, some carry enormous burdens they never wanted, probably never imagined, and most certainly never deserved.
No one deserves a child with special needs or severe disabilities. No one deserves to have been raised by people that didn't know how to parent, or love. No one deserves to live longer than one of their children. And while any of these could be enough to destroy many strong individuals, some I know live with all this and more and still present the best of humanity to the world. They could blame their burdens for a bitter outlook. They could rail against God and turn inward or self destructive. But they do not. They do not blame or accuse. They observe and learn and recognize the value of everything they have, burdens and all. The most amazing of them will admit that without the burdens they might not have come to appreciate the value of every other thing.
I'm only starting to realize that these people may have the largest hearts of all of us. Not that they were born with a better or more efficient circulatory system. But they have somehow managed to take things into their hearts, the blessings and the burdens, and incorporate them all into their values. Somehow they don't split the good and bad and embrace one and reject the other. They let it all in. Their hearts must grow to encompass all of it. Growing a larger heart this way must be incomprehensibly painful. But that is how I know they are special. Because only with a heart that large can they have the power to appear so graceful to everyone around them.
I think it's too easy to assume that happy, friendly, generous people are that way because they have had fewer challenges and obstacles in their lives. But the happy, friendly, and generous people I admire most are those that remain that way, or maybe even became that way, through the burdens they have accepted into their hearts and the capacity that has given them to share their hearts with the world.