I woke up the other morning, did a bit of yoga, got some coffee and sat down at the computer. I went to a newspage and saw it there, the same thing that’s always there: Terrorism. Corruption. Lies. Threats. The million ways people think to hurt and kill each other. And the thought, the one that has hovered at the edge of my consciousness for more years than I can count, came unbidden to my head: “I’m supposed to want to live in this world? Why would I ever choose that? With all this suffering and death, why would I ever want anything except not to be here?”
Despite the many benefits of my privileged, white, Western, middle class, educated status and my relatively easy life, I have never found the act of living an easy thing to do. It’s not that my life is too difficult, but that I look around and sometimes all I see are the sorrows and cares and pains of a world that is hurting. Hurting all the time. Without respite, without end. We struggle and we strive and we try to help, and we go on because we have to, but why, I think, why would anyone want to?
I sat down the coffee cup and got up from my computer – time to wake up the 10-year-old for school. He giggled and laughed; the dog licked his nose, causing him to roll around snorting, trying to get out the dog breath smell; and he gave me a hug. “Hey Mom, come watch this!” “Hey Mom, did I tell you about this?” Thus our morning went, all laughter and smiles. And I remembered that in the midst of the struggle and the striving, alongside the sorrows and cares, there is laughter and love and joy. After I got my son to school, I went and helped my mom with some things, where I remembered that what we do matters, that our actions can bring something good into someone else’s life, even if only in the smallest of ways.
My son and my mother gave me great gifts that day, although they didn’t realize it. They helped me remember the balance of the world, it’s beauty and goodness alongside its pain and suffering. In the most ordinary of ways, they showed me the extraordinary depth and richness in which we live every day. And I do so very much thank them for it.