A while back, I was having a very bad Monday, and wrote a blog post called Roll With The Punches, Baby! The idea was that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; sometimes life hands you a bouquet of flowers, other times, a punch in the mouth.
On that particular Monday, the IRS had just screwed me out of a tiny refund and my modest retirement account was down. It’s down lower than a year ago today, thanks to the coronavirus, worldwide panic, and all sorts of other factors.
The difference? That day, I was having a tough go of it. Today, everyone seems to be having a tough go of it. If I’m having a bad day, I’m in good company.
So What The Hell Am I Supposed to Do?
Pandemics cause massive turmoil, and looking for calm and reassurance is natural. We all want safety, security, and of course, reassuring words that it will get better. In fact, as I wrote in my last novel, Whizzers, that’s all pretty much an illusion. Safety? What does it even mean? Security? As in financial? Physical? How long does that last, if you ever have it in the first place?
Here’s the quote from Whizzers that came to mind as I pondered these things today:
Control—an illusion. Security—illusion. Even danger, really—another illusion.
A hundred years from now, I’ll be gone. Hell, probably fifty years from now. The idea that I have any kind of security or control is ridiculous. The one thing I can truly cling to, the one thing I can be secure in, is the knowledge that I am going to die, my brother and wife and friends and neighbors, and everyone I’ve ever known—every single one of us will be gone someday.
You Call That Inspirational?
Kind of a downer, right? But then, here’s the thing: faced with the knowledge that we’re all going to die someday, the question becomes, How shall we live?
Maybe you call a friend today—someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Maybe call your mom. Better yet, your Dad. I bet he doesn’t get as many calls. Maybe you just do something productive. Treat yourself well, if you’re not good at that.
Life is very short. But whether things are better or worse next Monday at this time, we can make it better. Better for ourselves, our spouses, our kids. It’s up to us now.
I just spent the five of the last 8 months in the hospital. I hear you loud and clear when you conclude that we only have so much time and should be as good to ourselves as possible.
Mike I truly loved this. It only take a moment lest that a pause to reach out and show a friend you care.
Thanks for your comments, Larry! I actually got an email from an elderly acquaintance who has now started calling ten people per day…pretty inspiring.
ooh good one mike: ‘how shall we live?’
I’m hoping this thing will pass as quickly as it arrived… corona…
It has been a sharp reminder that nothing is guaranteed and security as you said is also given to the wind of chance or circumstance in many cases.
Thank you, Laurie. I think it will take a while to peak and then drop off, but it’s a major change to the world. My hope is that it will ultimately bring more compassion for those sick and suffering. Take care!
Yes Mike, almost everything we see as real – is actually an illusion. We create the heaven or hell we experience. I know, to many this is a critique. I don’t mean it that way. Making choices you suggest is creating our heaven. Reach out to others and help them experience a little heaven too.
Thank you, Kate. I found the concept of “maya” a long time ago, and it has strangely been a great source of comfort in turbulent times!