Ah, the beautiful fall colors. So radiant, so vibrant, and here for such a short time! It’s that line drawn in the sand, the mark between an end and a beginning.
This time, I think to myself, I am not going to let the winter bring me down.
I had to make one of those huge, life-changing-or-not decisions, and finally made, I thought “that was that” and it would be done. I chose to stay the course, follow through with what has been a long time coming and that I’ve waited so patiently for. It means changes are ahead, but in the form of increasing the way it’s been instead of something totally new. I’m pretty happy with my choice, and the fact that I can change my mind later makes it the right one. Heh.
Bopping along with that choice made – it’s always a relief to end the decision-making process – I was doing fine until one lone comment crashed the party: “I get so tired of hearing people whine about losing everything…”
The myopic negativity threw me, caught me behind the knees and threw everything out of whack. Once whacked, all the other negativity threatened to come rushing in. The news is filled with negativity about coaches sexually abusing children, the peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters getting maced and shot with rubber bullets, the piss-poor economy, all on top of the people I see every day out of options to keep their boat afloat. Add to the pile of crap floating around on a constant basis the tunnel vision of some people. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that think the unemployed are just a lazy bunch of slackers wanting the country to support them, and all the other right-wing, detached-from-reality bullshit that goes along with it, is who I’m talking about. Their world view is as far from reality as the polarization of wealth in the country is the way it was all supposed to work out. There you have it, the ever-widening gap between the way it is and the way it was supposed to be. The race for the all-mighty dollar turned into a war, and just like the Civil War, one side has guns and cannons and the other side has hay rakes and sticks. History repeats itself.
You see, it’s not whining. It’s terror, it’s a major threat, it’s more stress and it’s fright. It’s a caught-in-the-headlights kind of paralysis. We are all one foot away from that, and that you are not faced with losing everything right now doesn’t mean it won’t be like that for you tomorrow. It’s just a matter of time before your number comes up. That’s the way things are going and it will happen. It’s just a matter of when.
The thing that makes it possible to move beyond the paralysis is forward thinking, and what you and I and everyone else can do to keep things moving forward is helping people to see that there are options. It just takes a moment, some openness, some effort, to listen and help people figure out what their options are. That isn’t hand-holding, that isn’t becoming a wet rag, that is just consideration and compassion.
What is at stake here is the sense of self-worth. At this point in history, I’d have to say the most important thing that we all need to support in ourselves and each other is our sense of worth and value. When someone is in crisis, one moment of affirmation can be the difference between total collapse and moving into goal setting and problem solving. It is a life and death moment eased by one kind word.
That is the nature of the beast. It is the natural course of things.
The choice is yours. You can sit there and angrily, defiantly, petulantly defend your wobbly toe-hold on maintaining your status on that side of the unemployment line, or you can put that aside and reach out to everyone else who lost that battle. In the end, it doesn’t matter how much you struggle to hang on, you will lose. It’s not your choice. Not really. So why waste all that time and energy being miserable?
Nature must take its course. Here’s the key: It is natural to be considerate and compassionate. It is in our nature to be caring and giving.
Why fight it? Let nature take its course.