We could do, once in a while, with remembering that all we’ve taken to be solid, and all we’ve used to shore ourselves up against the riskiness of life, is hardly as solid as it seems.
Our homes, so sturdy, can be swept away by earthquake or flood, war or uprising.
Our money, so secure, can disappear in financial turmoil or upheaval.
Our position in society, in an organisation, undone both by our actions and by the stories of others.
Our health, undone in an instant by a virus, a bacterium, a clot unmooring itself.
Perhaps if we do this, just once in a while, it will help us to see again as human all the millions and billions of others who have lost this kind of security themselves. Perhaps it will awaken us to compassion, knowing that each one of them is just another one of us.
Perhaps if we do this, just once in a while, it will help us to cling less tightly, to be more accepting of life’s twists and turns – that what is had can be lost, and what is lost can be gained, and that life is a never-ending process of change. And in doing this, perhaps we’ll be able to be a little less self-obsessed, and turn a little more genuinely and in deeper connection and care to all those around us.
Perhaps if we do this, just once in a while, we’ll have our eyes awakened to the miracle of whatever it is that we do have, whatever it is that we find we can truly rely on, and we’ll find a way of undoing our sense of entitlement and our sense of resentment at life’s unfairness.
Perhaps if we do this, just once in a while, we’ll have a better chance of living with a sense of gratitude for what is, and the possibility of dedicating ourselves to the welfare of everyone rather than desperately clinging on with only ourselves in mind.