There’s a saying, backed by scripture, saying, “This, too, shall pass.” That can be a lifeline when one is in the throes of pain, anguish, devastating loss. It can also be the noose around the neck, getting tighter and tighter as the lifeline of waiting for it to pass.
In truth, all things pass. All things change. The only constant is energy and the matter surrounding it changing. Today, I write on a computer. Tomorrow, what will I write on?
Today I can relieve someone’s suffering with a smile, a meal, a caring hug, with love. Tomorrow, they will suffer again. Alone.
Today I can rant and rave, make my voice heard at the inhumanity of humankind separating children from parents, held in a desert in tents by a lying, perverse government. Tomorrow, the children face another day of loneliness and loss and more children are thrust in with them, facing their loss and fear with loneliness.
So if everything is temporary, if everything changes, moves forwards and backwards, what do we do? If everything “…shall pass…”, why do anything? Ah, the state of apathy descends in hopelessness and despair.
Eyes light up as the lottery is discussed among the people sitting at a table. Visions of what one would do with such vast amounts of money. Then how much would one actually wind up with. Reality of taxes, human vultures wanting to hone in and share in another’s good fortune, chaos and life changes. Philanthropy is thought of. Doing good. A shortcut to instant wealth, a shortcut to reach desires to help oneself and others. But again, only temporary. A temporary solution to temporary problems at hand.
In the long run, with life actually being a short, temporary stop by a human in a life-span allowed on earth, the temporary solution seems appealing. If I donate all my lottery money to building, say, tiny homes for the homeless, I will not solve all their problems, but it will ease them. If I donate all my money to feeding and evacuating the homeless and war-torn people of Yemen, it will only be a temporary fix to alleviate their suffering because other wars will be waged and they will once again be victims. If I donate all my money to science to alleviate pain and disease and global warming, it will only be a temporary stop-gap to extend the lives of people and the life of the earth.
The noose tightens as I wait for the life-line of “This, too, shall pass,” to pass. I do nothing. So nothing changes that could change if I were active, attempting at least a temporary solution to the problems I feel tear my heart in pieces as I witness suffering and such great pain. It is easier to tell myself my pain will pass and try to keep on, but I don’t want to foist that philosophy/truth(?) onto humankind I encounter. I want their suffering to stop.
Some people challenge their anger to direct them to act in beneficial ways towards what they can have a true effect on, not just an affect. In my case, the anger towards all of it–both what I can and cannot control or have power over–seems to unleash a brainstorming and a creativity that can change things. My logic only extends so far. My rational thinking gives way to passion, heartfelt empathy that seeks for solutions wherever they might come from. No idea is too far-fetched, too wild, to be excluded. After all, isn’t everything temporary anyway?
The average life span of a human is roughly 70+ years, minus car accidents, drive-by shootings, death by police, death by journalistic writing, alcoholics behind the wheel, cancer–you get the picture. That’s pretty temporary when you look back to celebrate Christmas, or think about Alexander the Great. Who would have thought Plato and Socrates would have words of meaning today? Temporary, short lives in a changing world that carry influence today to those willing and able to read their words. Temporary humans still offering temporary respite to those who would learn from the past and its temporary status.
Humanity, each generation, is temporary. History, in each segment, is a temporary lesson. The arts are temporary in each period of time. But lessons learned remain for those willing to try to implement them in the present. We are at a point that will be remembered beyond us as one whether we either sat on our hands to wait for this to pass or we helped actively to get it to pass. And quickly.
I think that this becomes a striking point for me, here and now, as I realize my temporary stay in this time and life is statistically running out of time for waiting for anything to pass without my either rolling over and waiting–or pushing it out of the way. I have never had the patience to wait for something to pass. I may outwardly seem to be able to wait, but inwardly there is no rest until things change. My greatest flaw is lack of patience turning to despair over things not changing for what I consider the better.
I want to see people better off than they are. I want to see cold, mean hearts extricated from leadership. I want to see hate die to love. I want to see unity in saving the earth and its creatures–all its creatures. It can happen. Things change all the time. I choose to be part of the change, however temporary, that creates a better life for others. And if I get ridiculed, thought of as idealistic and childish, so be it. After all–
this too shall pass.