Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away, and all the neighbors came around to commiserate that evening. "So sorry to hear your horse ran away. This is most unfortunate." The farmer said, "Maybe." The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and everybody came back in the evening and said "Oh, isn't that lucky. What a great turn of events. You now have eight horses!" And he said "Maybe." The next day his son tried to break one of these horses and ride it but he was thrown, and broke his leg, and they all said, "Oh dear, that's too bad," and he said, "Maybe." The following day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the army and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again all the people came around and said, "Isn't that great!" And he said, "Maybe."
The last couple of years have been interesting ones for us, as many readers of this blog are well aware. 2010 started wonderfully, took not one but a number of sharp turns for the worst, before finally ending on a bad note. 2011 started on a bad note, the bad news piled on... and then everything started to change for the better, culminating in a bit of awesome near the end.
I have always felt that everything happens for a reason - and that much of the time, it will be years before we can possibly understand what that reason was.
At the moment, while there are still clouds that lurk over us from the past that it will take years to fully get away from, life seems overall rather bright and sunny - certainly, our lives (finally) seem to be headed in the right direction. It saddens me somewhat to know that I cannot fully shake the worry that yet another unforeseen occurrence, some new twist, will ruin it all, that I cannot simply enjoy life as it occurs and be completely optimistic about the future - that no matter what, I am compelled to feel only that "maybe" the positives will last. But despite this, I am optimistic overall, and hope that this path ahead of us is not just another "maybe" along the way.
It is difficult to think about our lives and notice that others have had generally easier lives in many ways. Certainly nobody knows what truly goes on 'behind closed doors', nor does anybody know what everyone else's troubles are. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to have a general idea of what trials and tribulations people have or have not faced in their lives. It is not out of jealousy nor out of hate that I cannot help but wonder how life might have been had our lives been as easy-going as others have experienced. That said, I can't imagine having lived without learning all the lessons I have learned over these years.
But I certainly wouldn't mind some easy time...
If you have known dark times and suffering, then "maybe" just comes easier.ReplyDelete
As for other people - I wouldn't assume that their lives are easier or better despite what they portray to the outside.
I wasn't assuming, merely noting... I do believe that most people have had an overall easier go of it, and most of them can or have confirmed as much in various ways. Like I said - not jealous or hating - just that it is difficult to know that you're forced to go through trials that others will never have to. We're happy that they do not have these difficulties, we just wish we didn't either.ReplyDelete
This came in R' Jonathan Sack's weekly email today: Mendel meets David. He says, “Tell me, friend, how is life? I haven’t got much time, so tell me in one word.” David says, “In one word? Good.” Mendel says, “Give me a bit more detail. In two words, how is life?” David replies: “In two words? Not good.”ReplyDelete
Move to LAReplyDelete
There is always this desire to live another's life even just temporarily as we are convinced that the grass is greener on the other side. For example, I had 2 children before I could blink and my friend struggled for 6 years before having a child. Yet he has a cushy job with vacation days and a pension plan while I work my butt off, and live paycheck to paycheck. Would I swap with him? Some days but not most. It's all about keeping your eyes on the big picture and as corny as it sounds, being happy with what you have.ReplyDelete
Everyone has their own trials and their own good times, and the same experience can mean different things to different people. I think it's hard to look at other people and measure your own difficulties and happy moments against theirs. Also, there is a LOT people do not share, so you never know what people are experiencing, even if they make it seem like life is pretty much carefree.ReplyDelete
Also, just because people seem to have such a great life right now does not mean things will stay that way forever. Everyone has ups and downs, you know?ReplyDelete
"Move to LA"ReplyDelete
Move to Israel.
Story sounds like the one of Nachum Ish Gamzu.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
It's so true that you don't know what the other person is going through. I thought I had a "perfect" life with 2 amazing little kids. We were financially making it, not rich, but paying our bills. Then my son started losing weight and my life fell apart. Life was full of doctor visits and threats of hospilizations. I was a mess. B"H he's doing great now, but it was years of frustration and hard work to get him where he is today.ReplyDelete
Many never knew what we were going though and thought our lives were "easy" and perfect. So although people's lives look so easy, it may not be. And what may be easy for one is not for another.