Some weeks are just tougher than others. I have had a few of those weeks all strung together lately. It is funny sometimes how no matter how hard a person tries to move on from their past, it has a way of catching up with them now and again. The key part to this game of tag is to let it tag you, but not drag you down into the mud.
It sounds easy, but it isn’t always. There are two things that get me through these difficult times that most of us face now and again. I am a bit of a dweller. I ponder a problem relentlessly until I find a solution. That saying “when the going gets tough the tough get going” is a saying I take to heart. Life is not always easy, but it isn’t always hard either, so what do we do when the hard times arrive?
I believe that if you just start moving forward one step at a time things will fall into place. Sometimes an end is not even in sight when you take those first few steps, but then suddenly a path opens up in front of you and sure enough it grows wider and brighter as you take more tiny little steps.
It is hard to see the bright side of the thousands lost in Japan right now, but in spite of all the tragedy, there always is a brighter one. Besides the fact that it makes the rest of us realize that our problems that are fixable are not nearly as bad as what the Japanese are going through, there are miracles amongst the rubble. There are survivors who made it rising up out of the rubble like a phoenix. There are emergency crews who rush into harms way to help. Strangers who bond in disaster to help one another. Businesses donating food to those with none.
It is this humanity that keeps us all going. We watch the news hoping against all odds to hear some good news. Our hearts bleed for the distraught and heartbroken. We donate our Overwaitea points, a bit of our paycheques, our prayers and our goodwill.
Life tears us down and we build it back up. Us silly humans just don’t quit. Even though we may not know anyone living in Japan, we care because we all have families and friends who we would not want to lose. We do because we don’t know how not to. Life is fragile. An accident at the outskirts of Princeton took a life and changed others earlier this month. The young travellers and their family and friends could not have known that their trip would end the way it did.
Sadness can only be healed with compassion and time. Humans need to find a way to make things better. When your child is hurt out of maliciousness, you find a way to take away that hurt. You dig deeper and fight harder than sometimes you would even for yourself. When people are intentionally cruel, sooner or later their reign of power will fall. Be good, treat people good and have good. Be bad, treat people bad and you will have bad. Formulas are simple. We can’t always reap our own sadness or happiness. Sometimes it comes at us like a tsunami. The secret is to find a way through that destructive wave, to learn, to heal, to re-build and sometimes to adapt and change.
Humans circle the wagons in bad times. They can’t change what happened, but they can change the future. We can circle the wagons when it is our own we need to help and we can circle the wagons when it is strangers we need to help. We just need more of them then. We can’t fix everything, but we can fix some things and maybe just maybe we can make better choices for the future out of some of that bad.