Life, to coin an old adage, is a tough row to hoe. Consider Sisyphus, a character of ancient mythology depicting the difficulties of life. Sisyphus begins at the bottom of a hill, rolling a small ball up the slope. Unfortunately, the ball grows in size with each revolution and the slope of the hill increases. This depicts the growing responsibilities and burdens of a man as he advances in his work, his life, and age. Think for a moment of how your own life has changed as you have advanced in your job, your family has grown, and your responsibilities have increased. Ambition and determination induce you to continue to roll your own ball up the hill in spite of the increased burdens you must carry.
All may be going well, and then one day your world seems to collapse around you. You lose your job or you lose your wife, or any number of other disasters may strike leaving you wonder who you well and truly ticked off in a former life. About this time you feel like screaming in frustration. Begging for an answer. Why Me?
Confronted with a series of disasters several years ago I asked the question and got an answer. It wasn’t exactly what I hoped for, but when I thought about it, the answer was a good one because it made me stop despairing for my misfortune and set me on a path of action to do something about it. Two words echoed in my mind: Why Not?
No one is so unique or special to be above or beyond circumstance or happenstance of a brutal nature. According to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Many people will disagree when I tell them there is no panacea in poisons, whether they be prescription, over the counter, or across the bar. At the bottom line, it is inner strength which will make it possible to overcome and find inner peace.
So maybe you’re wondering how I have arrived atop the soap box and what credibility I have for the opinions I express. I was born in 1943. I am once divorced, twice widowed, and I severely disabled myself in an on the job accident in my early thirties. I have failed in business and in doing so learned how to succeed. I have survived heart disease and cancer. I am the proud owner of a titanium replacement in my shoulder. Life hasn’t always been good to me, but I have learned that when it all goes to hell in a hand basket you have a choice. You can dwell in the past or you can look to the future and what you will do in it. The future isn’t tomorrow. The future is right now. The planet doesn’t stop spinning, the clock doesn’t stop running, and the past already happened and can’t be relived, so put it behind you, keep what it taught you and move on.
Why me? Why not! You probably needed a boot in the butt and just had karma put one right there to get your attention. Pick yourself up, pick a direction and move forward into the light.
I leave you with an Irish Blessing:
May your glass be ever full
May the roof over your head
be always strong
And may you be in heaven
Half an hour before
The devil knows you’re dead.