July| Vol. 22 No. 8.02 | Christian's Chronicles © 2015 – All rights reserved.
To be sure, The Chronicles sometimes appear to deal with matters of a more pedestrian character, at least in the eyes of those who fail to appreciate the artfully hidden magnificence behind the façade of mediocrity. This, like so many other beautiful ephemeral details of life, is easily passed over by travelers racing along the twenty-first century digital rush-hour of the information superhighway. But every once in a while, a jolt of reality disrupts the force with such magnitude that the matrix is broken, even if only momentarily, like a mirror reflecting the megalomania of a top-scoring star player of the Crack Baby Athletics Association.
Perhaps it is time for us to kill the headlights and put it in neutral, allowing the momentum of all history to take the wheel and steer down its determined path, bearing the load of the greatest weight, trusting it to safely navigate through the loneliest loneliness because, after all – noting with no small amount of irony – you are lucky.
I am one lucky ___. And so are you.
Luck, fortune, blessings, call them what you wish. As for me, I have had plenty. And so have you. Yet, too often, perhaps my ego gets in the way and fails to acknowledge, appreciate, or even realize it. True, the unbiased judge can render a better verdict from the outside, than the critic within. However, every now and then an experience or a person, almost always unwittingly, forces one to face facts and appreciate just how many blessings one has been blessed with.
I do not mean to make a list of so many buzzwords and politically relevant ‘privileges’ that lump me into whatever category it somehow is acceptable to lump me into. That whole business of categorizing individuals and treating groups of any kind as though they exist in the real world is deeply troubling to me, whether done in PC or non-PC ways. No, I think of only myself as an individual, and the many ways in which I am blessed, and fail to appreciate it when I complain about this or that, or when I get depressed about whatever, or when I simply do not feel thankful for having been blessed in the many ways I have been.
“Counting one’s blessings” is a phrase usually reserved for situations where disaster has been avoided. Yet it can have a more literal meaning, in other contexts. Helping those who find themselves in less fortunate circumstances can be one way to re-calibrate one’s own fortune-meter, hopefully motivated by empathy and what we would like to call ‘noble’ reasons. But there are those whose particular circumstances will never improve because the circumstances are part of who they are. When confronted by the drastic contrast of a person who by all accounts has not been blessed with nearly as many of life’s fortunes as I have; one who would widely be considered unfortunate, even pitiful or sad, it comes as a startling and humiliating realization to learn that such a person, despite the misfortune and objective misery imputed to him or her from an outside perspective, is actually more happy and more content than I am.
Such a low blow, to be outshined by hardship.
There are many such beautiful souls, who despite what some would consider severe shortcomings, are so far ahead of me as human beings that my worldly blessings are immediately devalued. Upon further reflection, we may come to realize that each of us, cheesy as it may sound in a tone that smacks of the pop-psych garbage I hate, has more in common with the rest than we think; and we all must bear our own cross. In short, every now and again I am overcome with empathy and it humbles and humiliates me, because I realize how little I appreciate the good fortune I have had.