Blessed (It’s not what you think.)

One of the last things my grandfather ever said to me will stay with me forever. “Does it ever just strike you how blessed we are to be here?” He was suffering from dementia, and it was pretty much the only thing he said that day that made any sense.

Some people might hear a dying man say something like that and feel like it’s some sort of ethereal truth about life. Not me. It stuck with me because I felt like he was full of shit.

Are we blessed to be here?

I’m not sure I can answer that. Not today, anyway.

I don’t deny that there is beauty in this world. There are moments that take my breath away. Moments when I’m so overcome with love for my life and this planet that I am (practically) speechless. (Let’s face it… I am never totally speechless.)

But in between those moments, there is a lot of “meh.”

Day after day spent sitting under the fluorescent lights of an office wishing more than anything that I could just be with my baby girl.

Struggles to pay bills and manage finances.

Traffic. Pollution. Overcrowding.

Sickness. Suffering. Cruelty. Brutality.

All around the world, children are neglected. People are starving. Homeless. Desperate.

Mothers fear losing their babies every day. Mothers do lose their babies every day.

Several years ago, a sweet basset hound was adopted from the rescue we volunteer with. He was later doused with fuel and burned to death.

This world we live in… it just doesn’t really seem all that blessed. And yes, there are lots of great people out there. People who work hard to do what’s right and bring some beauty into people’s lives one way or another… but will it ever be enough?

So while I appreciate the beautiful parts of my life… are we actually blessed to be here? Is this what a blessing looks like? Do we only fight so hard for the good stuff because the option is an endless string of “meh” or worse? What purpose does humanity even serve? We make films about aliens who invade planets and slowly suck them dry and destroy them… how are we any different from those aliens?

(Existential crisis, much?)

I know this sounds like the ramblings of a depressed person. I promise I’m not. I’m just sad today. Sad that my beautiful baby girl who positively radiates love had to wake up this morning in a world where people are gunned down at a music festival (or school—or the movies—or their workplace). How many of those people started their afternoon feeling like they were blessed to be here? And then what? They are shot at? Trampled? Why?

I am so incredibly grateful for all of the beauty in my life, but our world is broken. Humanity is not a blessing.

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7 thoughts on “Blessed (It’s not what you think.)

  1. Agree agree agree a millions times over. I don’t understand this world we live in. I cherish the beauty in my life all the while being baffled and horrified by the vast amounts of cruelty that also exists (to both humans and animals). It breaks my heart.

  2. …yeah. I want to say it’s a blessing that we can take action. That we can recognize and fix. But it’s hard to believe that, isn’t it? I’m trying to believe it. It gets harder every day. I think the key word in your grandfather’s comment is actually “strike.” Strike, striking, stricken. Nothing makes sense.

  3. I am so with you today. My FB newsfeed is fighting, abandoned dogs that need help, and scary foster care statistics. Tomorrow I’ll wake up and start the good fight over but today am so done.

  4. I’ve stopped consuming world news. I can’t avoid hearing about the most newsworthy, headline grabbing tragedies, but I generally try to bury my head in the sand. I didn’t used to be like this. I’m not proud of it. I know the dangers of remaining ignorant to what’s happening in the world around me, and I know it renders me useless to make change. But I just can’t consume all of this darkness anymore. I’m not strong enough. So I totally get your sentiment. It’s terrifying, how reality looks these days.

  5. I want to fucking print this and hand it out to my neighbors and frame it and cover my walls with it and tattoo it on my face.

    So, I agree.

    I’m so tired. When I told my wife this morning about the shooting, her response was “this is so sad” and I thought, is it? I KNOW it is but I don’t FEEL like it is and that’s scary. Every night, I’m exhausted. I promise myself to wake up and do it again and try and make a difference. But how? And even worse, why? Because it feels like it’s all for nothing.

  6. I have a very quiet chant/cheer I do when I think about what a blessing humanity is NOT. I just say slowly and clap or pound “Earth. Earth. Earth. Earth.” It’s become a joke for several of my friends. Earth is so obviously trying to rid herself of so many of us…though we’re doing a pretty good job helping her. Dark, I know.

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