Thursday, May 7, 2009

Survival In These Times?

"Mere survival is an affliction. What is of interest is life, and the direction of that life." -- Guy Fregault

I know people who, when you ask them how they are, will say automatically, "I'm surviving." They say it with a bright, brave smile, as though they've battled tremendous odds and come through, bloody but unbowed. They seem to imply that life is a grim, unfair business. But in reality, their lives seem easy and secure.

There are others I know with real problems - illness in the family, financial worries, job insecurity and more. These individuals might greet you with a smile and bring to the simplest exchange an energy and liveliness that sends you away refreshed. Such people have the gift of life and share it abundantly. Like the ninety-seven-year-old woman with thirty-nine grandchildren who greets each one of them by name and has a story and a joke for every one of them. She lives in their memory as a force of love and vitality. Her immortality is there, in the love her family bears her.

Each day can bring as many joys as sorrows. When we are patient and find the courage to invest the best of ourselves, we can truly live rather than just survive.

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