Friday, June 19, 2015
One Grain of Sand
Have you ever wondered what your place is on this earth?
That you are less than one grain of sand on a sun bleached beach?
I have often wondered why I am here.
What is my purpose in life.
Is it just to survive?
Of course most of life is a struggle to survive just as it is for most living life forms on this earth.
We have failures.
We have successes.
A few days ago a horrible tragedy occurred in Charleston, South Carolina. A deranged, lone gunman opened fire in an all black church and massacred nine innocent individuals.
I've often wondered when an act of pure evil like this occurs, what do those people who believe in God think. Why does He allow this to happen?
No big philosophical discussion here this morning, it's just that I do wonder what this life is about when something like that happens. Is life so random? I believe it is.
There is no order. The best we can do is make every day count.
Be the best we can to ourselves first and to others. I don't necessarily mean dropping everything and volunteering your time at the local soup kitchen but just to be kind to one another every moment of the day.
And those times that we do encounter evil or those who are not kind, try to neutralize them with your kindness and if that isn't possible, them remove yourself from that situation.
Life is survival, and kindness.
Like all of us, I have encountered those times when others haven't been kind to me. I could spend a lot of energy hating them or I could spend that energy making the most out of my life by enjoying life and being kind. I can do both of those things at the same time.
I've often joked that the reason I didn't play basketball in high school was because I couldn't dribble the ball and run with it at the same time. There are a lot of things I can't do at the same time like now. I have to tell hotel guests that I can't check them in and at the same time give them information of the best restaurants to attend while they're in town. I just can't do both of those things at the same time. But I can live my life and be kind.
This is a long blog, one of my stream of consciousnesses blog postings. My regular readers know I occasionally go off on one of these tangents. Usually triggered by some horrific act of evil perpetuated on innocent people, while an unknowing and invisible God stands by leaving us to guess what His motives are. Hey folks, there is no motive.
It is just evil, that's the way some people are. And we have to live with them and hope Our Turn doesn't come someday when some crazy assed, self deluded individual who has an all to easy access to guns to make himself a Big Man decides to make a statement. He feels powerless and this is the way he will get power, even if he has to lose his life doing it. Hate is that strong.
I've seen this face of unbridled hate myself many times in my life. Most recently when I was visiting a distant cousin in the hillbilly hills of western North Carolina where my father was born. I was researching my family history. All was going well until one cousin confronted me with "Ron, there is a rumor that you practice the gay lifestyle. Is that true?" Of course I was shocked by the question but I answered "If you're asking me if I'm gay, I am." He then said "Well get this bud, if you ever step on my parent's property you'll have me to deal with! You got that bud?"
Well, I know a threat when I hear one so I didn't visit his parents the next day as I had planned to with my cousin Bob T. and his wife, who had never met these cousins who lived in our great grandfather's house. We had both made the trip to North Carolina specifically to visit them but since I was one of THOSE (gay), I decided that I would avoid a physical confrontation in those isolated mountain homes and visit the grave of my great-great grandfather instead so the trip wouldn't be totally wasted. Of course I am well aware that my great-great grandfather, who died during the Civil War (fighting for the Union Cause, at least he got that right) wouldn't approve of my "lifestyle" either.
Those nine folks who were killed in that Charleston church, their "lifestyle" was that they were black. They were different and the monster who killed them couldn't stand that. And let's just be clear here folks. Where did this monster get his ideas that he had to hate blacks? Was it the environment we was brought up in? The father who gave him a "gift" of a hand gun? What father does that?
So back to my original thought on this blog that I am (as you are) simply a grain of sand on the beach. We all try to survive the best we can among the evil that is ever present all around us. Whether that evil be of a lessor kind than a telemarketer trying to sell us something we don't need, or a con man swindling us out of our hard earned money or, as was the case in Charleston, a madman with a totally deranged mind (and a bad hairdo, ever notice the hairdos on this monsters? That's a giveaway every time and how this most current one got caught when a florist recognized his bowl haircut).
So my purpose in life? Take this morning for example.
I got up, greeted Bill. Told him about my night at work at the hotel last night (uneventful, same old, same old).
After breakfast I got my checkbook out to balance it since I got my first paycheck since my fall last February 18th.
Sitting at my computer I called my Toronto friend Pat on FaceTime. I usually check in with him every day on FaceTime. We share and laugh.
I saw where my blogger friend Dr. Spo from Phoenix Arizona called me on FaceTime (I missed his call) earlier. I called him on my iPhone while I had Pat on my iMac.
We made it a "three-way" with Dr. Spo, me and Pat. We shared and we laughed and did a bit of teasing (I advised Dr. Spo to get an Apple Watch like I now have so he will impress people. He said that wasn't necessary because he already impresses people. Point taken Dr. Spo.
So you see we do have fun.
I still haven't even begun to balance my checkbook and Bill stopped in to tell me he's going to get gas for my car and his five gallon can for the lawnmower. All mundane activity to some, especially those bent on perpetuating evil in the world, but happiness to us.
I'll probably hang around the house most of the day and the only evil I will have to deal with are the daily telemarketer calls telling me "You won!"
All my life I try to minimize my chances for encountering evil or bad situations. Sometimes it is unavoidable like last February 18th when I was leaving work and I fell and ruptured the quadricep muscles in left leg. That simple random act changed my life irretrievably. For almost three months I was totally dependent on Bill for survival. If it wasn't for Bill I would have been housed in one of those rehabilitation centers. Hey, it was bad enough being helpless around here but at least I was in my own bed, eating my own food, using my own bathroom and not having to suffer through the isolation and loneliness of surviving in a rehab center.
My leg is recovering but I do notice that I have less energy and a weakness in both of my legs now. Maybe that's old age creeping up on me (I remember both my Mom and my Aunt Mabel saying the first time they felt "old" was when there were in their seventies).
Even now as I sit at this computer and type this seemingly endless and meandering scribe, my left leg is numbing up. I doubt it I will ever fully recover but you know what folks? I'm still here, still smiling and making others smile.
I may only be one grain of sand on the beach but my life has been fabulous. Oh sure, there were a few setbacks here and there and certainly a few scary moments for sure.
One thing is for certain though. My life will end one day. Maybe by a random act like falling on the ice like I did last February 18th ,and believe me folks, that could have easily become a fatal accident if I had lost consciousness in that alley of 5 degrees and laid there all night and froze to death because I couldn't move. Maybe there was some Greater Power that enabled me to take those few steps into the hotel lobby before I collapsed and make a 911 call for an ambulance - thank God I had my iPhone.
I hope my life doesn't end violently like those poor folks at that church in Charleston. I also hope that my life isn't one prolonged, painful, humiliating, and dependent illness.
When I go I hope I do in my sleep. That I just drift of to oblivion or wherever it is you go when you lose consciousness. Wouldn't it be great if there was a Heaven and you could be reunited with all your loved ones?
I don't believe is what will happen. What I believe is that I will enter a great Nothingness. I will truly be that grain of sand on the beach. But you know what folks? I'm having one helluva time right now and for that I am ever grateful.