An interesting aspect of many of today’s television commercials is they often stress hyper-kinetic youth and its reckless frivolity! It’s as if this is something everyone should embrace and the crazy stunts of youth are a sign of really being alive! It’s a wonder that any of us survived the stupidity of our youth! But as one ages and as friends eventually die of either accidents, foolishness or illness then we slowly start to sense that being alive IS a big deal! Life is something to cherish and nurture, not something to play fast and loose with!
Sometimes something really terrible needs to happen to us in order to wake up and wise up! I knew someone who thought it a good idea to jump out of the third-story attic window into the pool in the backyard! His takeoff from the attic was filled with a breathless grace worthy of an Olympic dive! Unfortunately the pool bottom which was only six feet below the surface of the water was not impressed! He is now a complete quadriplegic dependent on others for everything… for feeding, for wiping his rear, for turning him over to prevent bedsores. Everything! On every visit now his refrain is, “I wish I could turn the clock back. I knew it was dangerous but like most young people I was sure I was invincible and the laws of reality had nothing to do with me.”
Reality is what it is, on its own terms and not as we wish it to be. It is impressed by neither our courage nor by our stupidity. How about if today we work to affirm Life instead of being at odds with it? How about helping someone housebound do their food shopping? How about picking up that trash you’re passing by on the sidewalk? How about if we refrain from demeaning someone different than ourselves? To the extent we work at becoming less self-centered and narcissistic then that’s how much we begin waking up to real life! To the extent that we cooperate with Life instead of defying it then that’s how we will find happiness on this side of our eternity!