One of my favorite forms of humorous osmosis is the elevator variety. Get in the elevator in a tall building and watch. People arrange themselves until they are equidistant, assuming they are all strangers. People in elevators, sugar in water… the universe demands balance. Every challenge has it’s advantage. Every advantage has its price.
And whenever I think that thought, the exceptions want to pop out at me. Genocides, serial murders, rape, child abuse, war. I struggle to see the silver lining in any of those things. But the good must be paid for and the bad must be rewarded. Is joy possible when you don’t know its opposite? Is it possible to have a charmed life? Paris Hilton was born to unimaginable wealth, but I wouldn’t trade places with her for anything. Who can she possibly trust?
I’ve got a pretty big list of things that have gone wrong in my life. But every catastrophe has brought me a gift: drive, something to say, perspective, the impulse to think more carefully, deeper connections, an ability to see the beauty in the people around me, respect for the will that gets us all up in the morning… and today, I’m grateful for the foundation I need and the tools that support trying to be the kind of person that I want to be for the people who are in my life right now.
Meanwhile, I’ve been repaid abundantly: my life is teeming with amazing people who are thoughtful, compassionate, tolerant, and possess such a beautiful strength.
Holocaust, genocide, rape, torture… none of these things are in my realm of experience, so I don’t know how you find the balance. I’d hate to sound like I know how to reconcile everything, because I don’t. All I know is that, if I allow myself to observe from a place of neutrality instead of my natural tendency towards wanting everything and wanting it now… there are reasons to be grateful.
I think you do have to be at a place of neutrality to find them, though. There have been times when I would have hated anyone that tried to tell me to find the reasons to be grateful. Something about staunching the bleeding doesn’t leave much left over for philosophy.
But my osmosis? It’s all in the people. Yes, the depth in the darkness, but my light… always… the people. My people: Tink, LickIt, ENB, SBS, MSRC, KNRB, WLR, BAR, JFC, JK, WLV, CL, MS, FC, MVW, FSB.