Summer is in full swing and I'm doing my best to enjoy it. Hope you are too!
I have so many people in and out of my house that I've been accused of having a revolving door. Now it doesn't revolve, however, it slams frequently. This seems to be a difficult summer for most of the people (young and not so young) I know. Lately, I've found myself trying to answer the same question: Why is life so hard?
Now the trite answer to that is: It's supposed to be hard. If there were no bad times, we wouldn't appreciate the good times. After being put in a position to say it over and over, I've had to sit back and really think about this explanation I keep repeating. What does that mean anyhow? And why in the heck do I keep repeating words that have never helped me much to begin with?
It's simplistic to narrow down today's problems with words from yesterday. A young girl who finds out she's pregnant the day before her boyfriend dumps her, won't take consolation in, "It's supposed to be." Neither will a middle-aged woman whose father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Which brings us to the next stage of conversation: Shit happens.
Some things are just beyond our control. We can't make people love us. They do or don't of their own free will. My psych professor was fond of saying, "If you are in a room with 100 people, 25 will like you, 25 won't, and the other 50 won't care one way or the other. If you change your personality to fit in with the 25 that dislike you, the 25 that did--won't. And there will still be 50 that don't care."
We most certainly can't stop cancer from invading our own bodies, let alone someone else.
The point I'm trying to make here isn't about how or why bad things happen. It's about words. Our words and the advice we give to those around us. Find new words. Use new explanations. Better yet, don't be afraid to say, "I don't know." I don't know why this is happening to you, but I know a day will come when you'll feel better can sound cliche as well. However, you can back that up with your own personal experiences. We've all lost people we love in one way or another. Everyone (that I've encountered) has financial issues from time to time. Shit really does happen. Sometimes it's our own bad decisions that take us down. Other times, it's just plain bad luck.
Is life supposed to be hard? Maybe. We each have our own lessons to learn and obstacles to overcome. Can we make it easier for each other? Abso-freakin-lutely! We can't take on other peoples pain, but we can ease it. Actions help. A hug, a twenty slipped into the pocket of a friend who doesn't have money for groceries, and sometimes just a phone call to let them know you care and are thinking of them. Words are a valuable tool. You can bring someone to their knees with your words. Or you can pick them up, dust them off and send them forward with a smile and a lighter heart.
If we take as much care and consideration with the words we say as we do the words we write, this world might just be a little easier to deal with.