Yesterday my wife comes home and has this look on her face ….It’s at this point that I start to get worried. What did I do, how much trouble am I in and does it really matter if I don’t know what it is, aren’t I supposed to know what I’ve done, even if I don’t have a clue? My mind is racing for those patterns of excuses that most men have tucked away deep inside for such an occasion….Even for those “I didn’t do anything” moments the fear that we will get caught is a constant fear.
I think she could see the look of impending doom and despair on my face as I struggled with trying to grasp the severity of a situation I had no clue about (this is a good point to explain that even if we don’t know what we did wrong, or even if we think we did nothing wrong that primeval gene lingers in our brains forcing us to think we’re in trouble, even when we’re not) so she softens her voice and proceeds to tell me that… the window on the driver side of the car won’t roll up….
Oh my gosh, it was like the world being lifted form Atlas’s shoulders; and for those of you who don’t know who Atlas was, he’s the guy holding up the world, just barely, as he struggles to maintain not only his balance but the balance of the world, trying his best to keep it from wobbling and crumbling to the ground. I have to point out in this scenario of Greek Mythology that even though Atlas and others were considered Titans and they were God like, even as gods, didn’t he have to be standing on something while holding up the earth?
From impending doom to a broken window the two do not compare in severity but how often do we project our own level of distress on minor mishaps creating apocalyptic feelings of anguish and related self imposed suffering and guilt. We are it seems a negative people with a propensity toward the surrealistic and irrational with a tendency toward the most impossible and most improbable; “we’re all going to die…..”
That proverbial cup may indeed be half full but in our pessimistic and enthusiastically negative demeanor we see only that which is not there, instead we focus our eyes on what has passed, what has lapsed and what might happen, letting our minds wander while the reality of opportunity slips through our vision and our failing grasp.
Over a few short decades we have transformed a positive outlook into the worst of everything. We have the worst economy since the first caveman traded furs with a neighboring tribe. We have the hottest weather, the ice is melting faster than ever, the ozone layer is thinning like never before, our rain forests will be gone in a week and bovine flatulence will kill us all if we don’t stop drinking milk…The gloom and doom of our everyday lives have become a habit of convenience, it’s easier to sell darkness and confusion rather than clarity and light. Bad news sells, it always has. Who really cares about the good stuff anyway?
Even I, the purveyor of these written words have succumbed to that murky and muddy consternation, letting my injuries and pain control that indomitable spirit, a spirit that exists in all of us, that desire to succeed and that overwhelming aspiration to live, not just subsist but to truly live and thrive. The half empty glass is indeed half empty and yet at the same time it is half full telling anyone who will listen that you still have half of whatever it was that you were drinking and you now have the unique opportunity to fill the rest of the glass with whatever you like. Please be careful what you mix with what you’ve got however, some chemical compositions can be very volatile.
Thinking of the world in negative terms has become an industry of unparalleled success and not just in the form of dollars and cents, or pounds and pennies or whatever currency you’re currently using but the idea that selling negativity over glorified enthusiasm and hope not only makes lots and lots of money it has transformed out psyche and changed out moral outlook replacing it with the all too familiar “eat, drink and be Merry for tomorrow we die” mantra.
At some level I can understand the relationship between getting what you can out of life, especially if you believe there is only a limited space of life in order to obtain those pleasures. But on the other side of that sullied coin is the hope of things to come, the faith that all will be taken care of and that like the lilies in the field, we need not worry about the tragedies of life…for ours is but a speck of time, do not waste it on frivolity and favors…We have an eternity to seek and learn of ourselves but must pass through this small test first in order to prove that we can handle the reality that is life.
If we truly believe that life now is all we have then I do understand those who want to “get what they can” but from a logical perspective perhaps we should be thinking a bit differently. Even if this life is all there is, is pleasure all that life has to offer? Is selfishness the only way to temporal happiness? And is gorging on life the only way to ensure that you at least had your part of the pie?
There is so much more. The love we have for our children is never paralleled by the pleasures of a night on the town. The feelings of joy from a loving wife or from a mother’s touch, a fathers approval can never be matched by those insignificant and fleeting, temporal pleasures. Even if this is all we have and death brings nothing but that final darkness our time here can have meaning and purpose and can have a significant effect on those who we touch and caress, those we love and favor and for those who witness our kindness and service.
That is after all what life is all about, is it not?