I recently heard someone say “You are lucky to be alive”.
I then spent a great deal of time thinking about that comment. It wasn’t the first time I had ever heard it, but the first time I really thought through the meaning behind the phrase. An optimist and pessimist could spend hours or days debating the merits of those words until they turn blue, shoot each other or hug it out.
My first reaction was “why?”
Why are we lucky to be alive? We are all going to die. Whether we believe in an afterlife, a spiritual resting place or higher power above our earthly knowledge, it is unknown. It is a realm of belief vs. scientific evidence. I am by no means questioning the validity of those that awake the dead and connect with the afterlife. We are all open minded to the possibility of the unknown.
As an infant, we are awakened to all things new. Our curiosity peaks and life experiences are new each and every day. As we age and gain further understanding of life, decisions become more difficult and moving forward in age, pain, suffering, hardship, disease, tragedy and loss become part of our expected routines. Then we pass away leaving loved ones to mourn for us as we take the next step to eternal rest.
That being said, “Why are we lucky to be alive?”
Humanity itself has given the prosecution due evidence to take the negative stance on this debate. National disasters are wiping away entire communities, children and infants are dying of disease before they have a chance to experience life, poverty is forcing families to live like rats on the street, greed, religion and hatred are provoking violence around the world, population increases are threatening the health and well being of the environment and technology is limiting our ability to emotionally connect with
Are you wondering when this is going to turn positive? Give me a moment, I promise it will.
This has been an extraordinary period in our lives with the Japanese Tsunami, Earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Irene, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, global flooding, Chilean Earthquake and flooding, and the West Virginia mining explosion. All deeply tragic and all exploited heavily by the media.
Then I took a step back, looked at my own life and looked at things the news doesn’t seem to want to emphasis. I thought about the smell of the morning dew that reminds me of home and curling under my warm down comforter on a cold winter night. A saw the wonder of two dolphins playing in the ocean and giving all of us a show for free.
I cannot forget the look on my father’s face when he drops me off at the airport, gives me the slight stare of thankfulness and sadness for seeing me go and then hugging me like men are supposed to hug.
Do you know the feeling when you are kissed gently on the neck and then hold each other so close your bodies come together as one. It is one of the safest feelings you can imagine and one that often cannot be put properly into words. It is that feeling that nothing can happen to harm you and that the knowledge of having each other is the only thing you need in the world.
When a warm summer rain falls on you at the beach and the waves crash into the sand showing its power and beauty with each raise of the surf. The water warms your pores with earth’s shower and you are cleansed and refreshed.
I cannot sing. I cannot play guitar. I can’t even pretend to carry a tune, but I will say this, if you give me a song that moves my soul, my acoustic guitar and a glass of wine, I am in a state of utopia that nothing can bring me down from.
Not a day goes by without thoughts of my mother. For many years, I questioned everything. Why was she taken from us? We needed her. This wasn’t fair. This hit a point of hatred, but for what or who I didn’t even know. Over time, I have reflected less on losing her and more on what she offered me and how she shaped who I have become. Those are the thoughts of fondness that I now think about each day I remember her.
Last month, I witnessed the birth of a baby. I was taken back by the reality of a new life on this earth but not the deepest impact on me personally. It was the candid emotional release from the new mom and dad, the purity of the smiles and tears from family and friends and the unity the room brought in celebration. I took a step back and became an observer to this miracle. How could such a small being who cannot even speak, reach out and help grown adults release their most inner emotions. If a seven pound baby can bring a whole room to the highest levels of happiness in a brief moment, anything is possible.
Watch your dad play Darth Vader sometime and take on three children at once….You may suddenly feel a warm spot in your heart.
Are we lucky to be alive?
More than you know..
Look around you and see how lucky you are….