I receive many emails and comments about my blog. With the political conditions and the polarization going on in
America, actually the world, we seem to forget our humanity and our own fragility. The anger and nastiness gets the headlines as does the negative news. “Dirty laundry” sells. People read hidden messages in neutral messages. People need to be right. There is a righteous indignation movement. Those who feel powerless exercise bizarre psuedo forms of power. It’s all enough to send you to the couch with smelling salts. The old days are never coming back nor is my smooth skin of my youth. Time has moved on, people have moved on and time waits for nobody. We either change or be changed. Right now many people hate the idea of change. Time will not wait for them. They will be waved to at the rear window of the bus. Those who will embrace change and are willing to let go of outworn ideas and habits will blossom and grow and stay relevant.
This is not to say there aren’t many things that need to be corrected. Almost all of our systems from the government on down to our own dirty laundry need change. It’s a duel of the powerful. Time will not wait for foolish leaders either. As the book “Ethan Fromm” tells, “the wheels grind slowly (meaning the grist mill) but they grind exceedingly small”. It is wise to remember not to loose your humanity as you loose your temper and become self-righteous. Some of the pieces of mail I receive are downright nasty and personal. Some of them are written by “spiritual” people or those who profess their spirituality and they attend new age congregations. Perhaps, they have time on their hands or their feel really powerless and afraid and act out. Perhaps, they should go for a walk, while they can.
Which brings me to the idea of “death rides on your shoulder”. We take for granted the idea that we will live and keep going and that we will get some type of notice that our death is eminent. We think more about our mortgage payments, what time is dinner and what will we eat, what will I pack for the trip, what time do I pick up the kids, the latest app, the latest release by Netflix. You get the picture. Do we think that we could exit out of here tonight, tomorrow, maybe in an hour? Did you know that death is your invisible companion and will decide when you will leave?
Just in the last month a friend’s sister became suddenly ill and died quickly within a week. The week before she was a masseuse and giving her sister a massage. My son’s Mother-in-law dropped dead in her living room from a cerebral hemorrhage. Another found her daughter dead in her bed from the same condition. She was only 40 and never ill. I have a long list of sudden deaths. We don’t know when we will leave so why do we waste our lives on dumb stuff that really is not important to us or even worse can harm others. Have we forgiven those we need to forgive? Can we clean up our lives so we are prepared for our own exit? Death may give you a notice by illness or declining old age but you may not be given such a notice. Please do not be so nonchalant about your own life. Treasure your time here. Smell the roses and speak kindly to strangers. Leave your anger, your hurts and your righteousness along the side of the road. We are all in this place together and each one carries death on our shoulders. We need to prepare to join it one day and we need to be less afraid of it. We can do that by knowing we led the best life we could and we grew and we forgave and we became kinder and we gave up the need to be right.