1. The use of physical or mental energy to do something; exertion.
2. A difficult exertion of the strength or will: It was an effort to get up.
3. A usually earnest attempt: Make an effort to arrive promptly.
4. Something done or produced through exertion; an achievement: a play that was his finest effort.
5. Physics Force applied against inertia.
Everything we do takes effort, whether we realize it or not. Some things, like breathing, take very little effort. In fact, we don't think about a lot of things we do daily. Unfortunately, there are bigger things that require a great deal of effort that most people don't think about.
Relationships, for example, take effort. I'm not just talking relationships between husband and wife. I'm talking all relationships. I admit, there are relationships in which I put forth no effort. There are other relationships I am tired of putting forth effort with no return. Others, are worth my effort. I'm not ashamed that I don't put forth more effort into some relationships. Honestly the are just not worth my time and energy. With my busy life, I need to make decisions on where to put the majority of my energy.
Being a good person also takes effort. Sometimes we don't know we're doing while other times, we choose not to do a good deed. That doesn't make a us a bad person, that makes us human. Recently, a friend of mine had an incident with her autistic son that really hits home with making an effort to be a good person. She and her three children were out at place that is like an indoor playground. She hears yelling coming from her autistic son. There is a woman who has her hands on her son. Being the wonderful person my friend is, she did not punch this lady (because, honestly, I would have), she calmly explained her son was autistic. This lady didn't care. This lady also didn't back down. My friend calmly went and got a worker to help her. Even though my friend says she was not calm and she was yelling, I know her and her yelling is my calm. When she left, she wanted to go back and tell the woman she forgave her. She prayed for the woman because she believes that there had to be something else going on and this lady was going through person trials. My friend made the effort to forgive. She made the effort to be good, to be a better person. I would have been having to write this from jail for beating the crap out of her for touching my child. When I first heard my friend's story, I was so mad for her, I was in tears. Even now, with how calm my friend is and how forgiving she is, I know I would not forgive this lady. I actually don't. I feel sorry for her ignorance and intolerance, but I don't forgive her. Unless a child is causing another child physical harm, you don't lay your hands on other people's kids.
Forgiveness takes effort. This is an area that I am actually very good at when someone does something to me, but do something to someone I love, and then I have a more difficult time. I make an effort to forgive. I make an effort to see the good in people. I make an effort to accept that not all people will see things the same way, and that's' OK.
What you put into life is what you get from it. If you don't make the effort to be happy and good, then you're not going to get much.