The Fragility of Life

Fragility of life, or at the least our experience of such, urges introspection.

It’s interesting when we look at ourselves and our lives. We get angry or are upset about rather seemingly trivial things in the whole scheme of everything, when you really look at it.

Unfortunately, when tragedy strikes it puts so much into perspective. I should preface this by mentioning that a little over a week ago I lost a dear friend of well over 30 years. She was only in her mid 50′s. I’ve buried my parents, but this is the first time that I’ve had to bury such a close long-time friend.

We should frequently remind ourselves of the importance of keeping our problems in perspective. Sadly, life has a way of reminding us periodically of how petty most of our own inconveniences really are. The unimportance of the things that had upset us so much only a minute earlier become apparent when tragedy rears its ugly head.

All of us, every day, spend a great deal of time worrying about minor annoyances that ultimately mean nothing. Sometimes it takes this kind of tragedy to jolt us into the reality of that realization.

I’m sure I will soon be getting upset about trivial things again, human nature being what it is. But maybe I will find it within me, even in the midst of that distress, to maintain a better sense of perspective.

There is a psalm in the Old Testament that says to “Teach us to count our days wisely, that we may obtain a wise heart.” It’s interesting because of the phrase “wise heart.” Normally we associate wisdom with the mind, not the heart. Making our mind understand what’s really important in life is the easy part; it’s getting our heart to go along, that’s the real challenge.

We ask ourselves, “How could such a thing happen?” and “Why?” But we have to remember that at the end of the day we are only human.

What can we learn from this? That our grasp on life is tenuous at best. None of us knows when our time is up. We can take every conceivable precaution, but even such an approach does not negate the possibility of a sudden death at any time. This reinforces the fact that we must make optimal use of every moment of every day. We must approach every day as though it may be our last.

Life is so precious and beautiful. It is indeed a gift for it is here one day and generally taken for granted. Give someone you love a hug. Tell them you appreciate them. But don’t do it later or tomorrow – DO IT NOW! Later or tomorrow just may be too late!

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