I don’t mean in the existential sense, I mean here, right here; look down at your feet. Have you ever wondered what kind of bad luck, Karma or whatever, it takes to be struck by lightning or hit on the head by a falling branch?
You’ve tempted fate, driven recklessly, flown in storms and maybe even poked a screwdriver into an electrical socket and still, somehow, you’ve survived.
Yet one day, you’re in a park full of trees and people, and somehow, in all this randomness, lighting strikes the exact spot where you’re standing.
So, why were you at that exact spot, at that exact second on that very day?
Because you were supposed to be.
Somewhere in your distant past, somebody connected to you, moved; maybe an inch, maybe a thousand miles and inevitably, a path was formed.
That somebody had a somebody, who, uncertain of their future, looked down at their feet and back from whence they came and took a step, extending the ancient path
Each time we interact with someone or something, we adjust our direction, but always continuing on the path that preceded us.
From what may appear to be chaos, comes order. If one could stand back far enough and see their ancient path from its beginning to the present day, tomorrow’s direction would become quite clear.
You were struck by lightning because your path in life began thousands of years ago and the place that you were standing, at that very minute, on that very day, was exactly the place where you were supposed to be.
A couple in their early 50s were celebrating. The last of their 5 children had moved out on her own, and they were now, finally, “empty nesters.” The house was quiet, a bit too quiet they thought, but they agreed to hold off making any big decisions for at least 6-9 months. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and soon they again, began thinking about down-sizing and retirement, “oh, but what if we have grandchildren?” “we’ll need the space then,” they agreed, and decided to wait a little while longer.
About 6 months later, the phone rings. “It’s me,” she says. “I’m at the doctor’s office and, you’re not going to believe this, I’m pregnant.” (Silence) “Is that possible?” he asked. “Apparently, I didn’t go through, “the change” like I thought,” she replied. “The doctor wants us both to be here for the ultrasound.” “How far along are you?” he asked, surprised. “12-14 weeks, he thinks,” she said. “I wondered…” “Don’t even go there!” she snapped, “I thought I was just ‘putting on my winter coat’ after the holidays.”
The doctor wasn’t optimistic. This would be an age-related high-risk pregnancy and he closed his eyes as the results of the tests began to populate his computer screen. Cringing, he began at the top and, putting his finger on the screen, read each line one at a time. Ok…,Ok…, NT screening… positive, he stopped; Down Syndrome is likely. The doctor ordered a CVS test to be sure … it was positive. Based on the totality of the results, the doctor felt that the child’s Down Syndrome would be quite severe. The doctor explained the results, answered questions and said that abortion was an option that they should seriously consider.
What would you do?
While you’re thinking about that, let me remind you of one word; “choice.” You assume they actually have one. Fortunately for them, they still do; for now. We take for granted the word “choice” and casually allow others to force their beliefs upon us. I say casually because most do nothing, while one politician or another proposes legislation that attempts to take away YOUR ability to choose. I mean you may bitch about it, but that’s about it and then you’ll turn the channel.
Choice matters as when we choose, we evolve. Choice forces us to reason, to grow, to pick a side. One of John F. Kennedy’s favorite quotes was from Dante: ‘The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in a time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” While it’s not word for word as Dante wrote it, you get the point. Making a choice is important but having the right to actually choose, well that’s the ballgame.
As long as we continue to tolerate those who, for whatever ignorant reason, insist on taking away our right to choose the destiny of our own lives, of our own bodies, we’ll have no one left to blame but ourselves. I guess we can still choose whether or not to obey, but is that really a choice?
Well, at the end of the day, they chose to have the child; a wonderful little boy. He has Down Syndrome but is considered “high functioning.” It has been a struggle, but they can’t imagine life without him and he seems to doing well. I most likely, would have chosen differently, though.
Society, or actually those who seek to control it, have little need for choice as it just complicates their decision making process. They would prefer that the flock simply follow the shepherd.
Recently, I was helping a couple prepare their new 5th wheel trailer for a long drive home.
Earlier in the day, somehow, my having Parkinson’s disease came up and I, as usual, quickly steered the conversation elsewhere and we moved on.
When it came time to leave, he politely reached out his hand and asked if I would pray with him. He said that he was concerned about my “eternal future,” asked me if I had been “saved” and then handed me a Christian flyer. I was speechless; he had blindsided me and my brain shut down leaving me without my usual list of excuses to escape.
He then began to pray and asked God, essentially, to cure me of Parkinson’s disease. He then covered the usual prayer essentials and said amen. During the prayer, my brain had a chance to reboot and after “Gotta go; dog died, house is on fire, daughter’s in jail, whatever,” I beat a path to my car.
People rarely, if ever, surprise me but, apparently, this gentleman was a Ninja Evangelist.
Now to be fair, he was kind, genuine and respectful. But, he said the “p” word and what’s even worse, he asked God to cure me. That’s what bothers me the most. My Parkinson’s doesn’t belong to him, God or anyone else; it’s mine; everyday, all day. Oddly, I felt offended that he was trying to take it away so casually.
I’ve spent the last five-ish years trying to make peace with both myself and this disease. Each morning, as we stare at each other across life’s chess board, I still foolishly cling to the notion that I can actually beat this through sheer will and perseverance alone; new day, new opportunity, I guess. Fortunately, it’s progression has been slow, for now, and I’ve been able to adjust. At this point, I think of it as dying by Zamboni.
The truth is, I own this disease or vise-versa, depending on the day. I blame no one for it, including God. We all have our battles in life, and this, hopefully, will be the only disease that I ever have to fight, but who knows, life can be terribly cruel sometimes.
But, for now, this is my battle, my disease and my life. I’ve invested an enormous amount of time and emotional energy into living with it and if I’m ever to be “cured,” it won’t be because of a few presumptive words and a firm handshake. The world just doesn’t work that way.
With a highly visible media push, we are seeing a plethora of “new ideas” gaining traction or at least, the illusion of such. They range from reparations, the elimination of the electoral college and how embracing socialism can, amazingly, be considered a virtuous act.
There is even talk of lowering the voting age to 16. The speaker of the house suggested that America’s youth should be allowed to engage in the process earlier, which patently sounds honorable. Latently, however, the motive is obvious; America’s youth tend to vote Democrat. How the speaker of the house presented this with a straight face…
100 years from now, we won’t even recognize the place. Whether it will be good or bad, depends on the way today’s children raise their children and so on. The future should be fine. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
Sadly, Thanos may be right. We are destroying ourselves from within. The media seems to agree. According to them, the “end” is always near.
“Little one, it’s a simple calculus. This universe is finite, its resources, finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs correcting.” Thanos, The Avengers Infinity War by Marvel.
Yes, I know he’s not real. But, in the final analysis, the script writer(s) appear to have created an accurate proxy through the character of Thanos, who ultimately, is the harbinger of humanity’s dystopian future.