how much is left?

We go through cycles in life. Sometimes they pass us by and we fail to recognize that we were ever even in the midst of it at all. Other times events happen that change our lives completely or shake us to the core to the extent that we can barely see even a glimmer of what we once were.  The struggle then begins as we exert extreme energy to recover, to return to a “happy place” in our dismal existence.  I find myself in this dimly lit room right now (metaphorically speaking).  Dimly lit I say because of my own discontent with life as a whole.  This is not to say that I have had a terrible life or that I’m not content with who I am, where I am, who I am with (& love & who loves me), etc…  I can be content with these things.  I have just come to a point where I am questioning the “why.”  Once again driving that question is what is the meaning of it all?  Questioning the “why” is  my method of struggle in order to grow further.

Someone once said that “Rules were meant to be broken.”  How failed an attempt to cover a blatant disregard for others.  How lacking in understanding.  How self centered.  How idiotic.  Rules, none of them, are made to be broken.  Records… (not the vinyl type) are made to be broken.  Not rules.  Rules, for the most part, are made to be kept.  The majority of rules are, in some form or another, designed and written to make life better or more protected.  The government does not put speed signs on the road so that people will break the laws and drive faster (though they nearly always do).  The rules you have at work are not there to cause you harm.  They are there to keep the business in business and functioning at the most efficient pace possible and yet put safeguards at every possible venue of opportunity to protect themselves and their employees.  Rules of the game are there so that players will understand how the game is played and how points are scored and so no-one gripes (though they will) when a foul is called.  Yet the majority of people I know constantly use the phrase “rules were made to be broken” so as to assert that they had every right to ignore the rule and do it their own way.

I know you’ve seen it.  You may even have been part of it.  Of course you felt the right to do what you wanted regardless of the rules.  Rules don’t apply to you right?  The sign says “no cell phones while in line” and yet there is that person on their blue-tooth headset that just has to take that very important call from their hair son, daughter, mom, dad, business affiliate, hair dresser, etc…   The sign says “45 mph” so we must ALL go 55 even if the flashing yellow sign says “35 mph – during school hours.”  The lines in the road really weren’t put there to keep anyone from passing on the right, go down the middle of the road through stripped yellow lines in the median, or cut in front of someone from a turn lane into a regular lane just so they can avoid the 15 cars that are waiting patiently as is expected.  It really IS ok to cut in front of other people at the restaurant since you once knew that person that is 25 people ahead or because you put someone out of a car and in line 10 minutes before everyone else from your family even arrived in the parking lot… right?  It is OK to park in  a handicap parking place because you are driving your aunt’s car who is handicap.  It doesn’t matter that she is still at home and you are 24 and work out at the gym regularly and can do wind sprints.  Rules… what rules?

Lying, cheating, stealing, it has all become all too commonplace.  The ability to cognitively discern what should or shouldn’t be seems largely to depend on who has the most money.  A jury is no longer there to determine right from wrong.  They are there to determine who has the best layer.  Judges judge based on how it might impact their next election.  Politicians….  well…  need I go there?  Even pastors, preachers, religious figureheads etc… attempt to influence their congregations so as to gain a healthier bottom line in the offering plate.  It might even be political influence or to line their own pockets.  I can’t say that this is a change.  This is and has been since the beginning.  On all fronts.  Not just about the religious aspect.  On all fronts!  Now I just wonder “why.”

At the growingly ripe age of 59 (my mom and wife think I’m still young) I question my part in all of this.  What have I done to change any of it?  Could it be changed?  What, if any, mark am I leaving?  How am I helping the next generation of people to do a better job at living, at giving, at being better themselves?  How much do I have left?  I’ve gone through prostate cancer and still deal with the resulting side effects.  Others in my life have had their own physical battles and also battle now.  Not so much physically as from lack of confidence in themselves from time to time.  A great job comes along and next thing you know you have to spend your savings on house repairs.  You are running along just fine and then the car breaks.  A family member has a major financial need.  One of your children needs more.  Your dog gets sick.

No-one knows how much time they have on this big blue ball hurling through space.  None of us are guaranteed anything or any “time” at all.  There is no “fair” when it comes to life.  One man/woman has plenty.  A few have much.  Hundreds have little.  Thousands and thousands have nearly nothing at all and life goes on.

The frustration has been building.  Its been 59 years and I see little change in direction.  The struggle has continued and continues on further.  I could write an entire book on the frustrations.

I have grandchildren now (one VERY recent and another coming shortly).  A brighter spot in my life for a while.  I just wonder…  how much is left?

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