Collisions, Colluding & you…

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A couple of months ago, on one of those ‘thank God, it’s finally raining’ days….(mind you, my body clock works uniquely) heading home and possibly signing off for the day, the usually uneventful drive was jarred by that bump that tells you things aren’t going to go as planned. Despite the rain, I got down to assess the damage and also ascertain what was going on with the driver behind me. Alas, it was a young man still in his teens and barely able to string a complete sentence in English. He asked for my phone to call his mom after I was able to decipher that not only was he not covered by the insurance company but he didn’t have a driver’s license and this was his second accident that week.

Time waits for nobody and going by the remorse he showed and the obvious problems he would have if the cops were called, I did the Christian thing of calming him down and telling him he needed to pay more attention especially with the roads being wet and all that. I needed to be somewhere so I let him go after obtaining the necessary documentation. You might have heard that when it rains, it just doesn’t rain, it pours and so my first lesson in road accidents began. Despite the language barrier, his parents opted to cover the repairs but insisted on coming to meet with me (which in my opinion was pointless). Oh how predictable the wiles of man can be, eventually I did have to call the cops upon their insistence because apparently there was no damage from their own perspective (especially since I was just coming from church).

Two months to the fender-bender evening, I receive a subpoena to appear in court as a witness for the state – three counts of criminal misconduct!!! After sifting through the legalese, it suddenly occurred to me that we are inadvertently responsible for how our lives play out. All it takes most times is listening to the crowds and ignoring that gentle voice in you telling you to get off the bandwagon and chart your own path. As the days fly past, I ask myself; “When is it appropriate to collide but not collude? Do the collisions we encounter be an avenue to work together positively?” And in my own little world, I think the answer lies in the fundamentals by which we live. What is the appropriate response to the blatant silence from those whom you felt were rooting for you at some time?

It is actually a parody when we think that in the face of the coming storm, we have all the windows and hatches battened down, only to realize in the midst of the storm that the likelihood of you surviving is simply a function of where you have placed your faith. It is almost characteristic of man to dance only when the piper’s tunes are an elaborate tale of ‘success’ stories. The question of what happens when events overshadow your mediocre triumphs is a daily event, seen every time- failure is an orphan! Dealing with the reality of today is a manifestation of what anchors you….if you still have an anchor anyway. Being bogged down in the mire of loneliness and exhaustion is not being anchored and the sooner you get yourself out to solid ground, the better it will be for you.

What do you do when your collisions threaten to rip you apart? When the insurance companies hide behind their fine print and tell you, ‘we cannot cover this!’. That dear friend is the tale of many even as we trudge on in this journey of life. To be or not to be isn’t the issue, rather it is defying the odds and staying true to yourself. When you look back at your corner and realize that not even the flattering and insincere words of those who have nowhere else to go can help you. When you cry out in frustration because people don’t get you. Truth be told, they never will and the longer you remain in the ruts of vessels long gone, the greater the harm you do yourself.

What is the difference between apathy and empathy? It’s not found in the sugar coated words of naysayers, neither will it be seen in the actions of the many that are seen around you but aren’t there for you. You have to make the call, shake yourself up and just keep moving on. There’s nothing as defiant as a resolute spirit in a broken body however as long as we nurture our spirits, the pain from our broken bodies can be tolerated. For what we seek is not in the annals of history but in the present and the future that we are unwittingly writing out today. There will always be room for you to pause, re-evaluate our circumstances and if need be, change our direction. I may be treated in the worst possible way but that’s not what keeps me going, what keeps me going is the fact that somebody somewhere is in dire need of a helping hand and if that’s all that can be said of m, then I dare to say I just might have fulfilled my purpose!

עד ניפגש שוב, תן אהבה שלו למלא ולשמו אותך!

Adios!

Flintlock, stone and barrel…

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Image result for flintlock pistol

“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Geez! This has me reeling from so many emotions however I presume its the inevitable result of not doing something in a long while and it kind of reminds me of the phrase “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was over 6 months ago….”. Now this is less a confession but more of a sharing of my experiences and utilizing the experiences garnered during various encounters to first of all hoist myself up (just incase I have slipped down little bit) and then at least one other person who really needs this.

Its more like beginning another phase as I write this post because it truly is the end of one phase, prelude to the beginning of another. Am I truly grateful and blessed for this concluding phase? A definite and resounding yes, because I have been given the priviledge of meeting varying individuals for varying amounts of time and simply just trying to learn more than I know and when possible, letting another person know what makes me stand out. Am I completely free of Myoclonus? No however I still stand by my choice and bullishness not to give in to some disorder as I make each day on this personal journey count for something. Medical conditions are just that – they are conditions and not the manual for your life or who you want to be.

I spent a couple of days in San Diego, California and there I was opportuned to actually get to see and hold a flintlock and sure it was part of a priced collection owned by an artist whose ancestor was one of those real men back in the days. Days where boys grew to become men and lived as men, confronting life and its challenges head on without flinching. Men who understood instinctively what terms like family, parenthood, moral virtues stood for. Men who aged gracefully even as the threads of their lives unravelled as will ours as we approach our destination. So much has taken place that have been so significant that it drives home the fact that not only are we living in the last days of this world but that every little gesture made from a sincere compassionate heart reverbrates thoughtfulness, kindness and compassion…..these are virtues that are rapidly becoming extinct even as we all whole-heartedly apply ourselves to making a living as against just living life and learning.

One remarkable thing about the flintlock is how powerful a little spark can be, and when applied at the right time, the results were astounding (pretty sure whoever stood at the other end of the barrel back in its days will so emphatically concur). Now, one statement I read has stuck in my memory and even though it was used in the context of driving but I do say that it applies to life in itself……‘be a pebble in a rapidly flowing stream’….and that I dare say is not too difficult to imagine. We are all created equal but we definitely do not end up as equals and the difference is  in the choices we each have made and get to make each and every day. Do we choose to live in the past (allowing the experiences of the past so cloyingly overwhelm us that we limit ourselves) or do we learn from the past so as to create our own future because that is what our hands and hearts are for.

Undeniably, the flintlock is the past but it played its vital role in the world we live in today and even though it is more relic than relevant but the point is that it played its role. I have come across individuals who are yet to determine who they are, least of all applying themselves and my question usually is ‘how many versions of you actually exist (updated or obsolete)?’ And this question usually goes to drive home my bewilderment in how some just choose to do nothing with their lives. In our own little worlds, we can at least be the stone that strikes the flint. We can choose today to resist the clamour and popular option of being nobody in today’s world or put aside all vestiges of complacency and just do something. Fail if you must because in failing, at least you have learnt one way not to do what you just attempted. There is no better art than attempt because opportunities of all kinds assail us everyday and whilst we refuse to do a thing, the opportunity passes and most times, we unfortunately do not get to see it again.

No better person than Thomas Edison in recent history could have put it better; “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Take a shot or a swing at life, and if you miss, try it again because life in itself is a journey that we all must undertake and we are going to be remembered for our indifference or for our efforts. I honestly do not keep count of the things I regret not doing but I do look forward to keeping a consistent effort in making my life something I would be proud of in retrospect. Notwithstanding the limitations of this frail body, there is more in life that we can by just doing something (and I do want to emphasise – do something that is right). Regardless of how numbered our days, we each have something to bring to the table but first of all we must find it lest we have nothing to give. There is much joy in giving freely anyway….

There will definitely be storms (that’s one characteristic of life) but those storms help shape us especially when we realise that our own strength is puny by itself, and His strength is there just for the asking. As the water flows past the pebble, and weathering occurs – realise that no matter how smooth that pebble becomes, it is still capable of igniting a fire when used properly. Take a look around you and see that hurting person close by, and realise that nothing happens by chance. You are where you are for a reason, understand the reason and do something at that moment in time and place. Empathy is not a synonym for weakness but it is an attribute of humanity. Let us not give into the craziness that is so rapidly engulfing us but be a light in the darkness….in two words; BE DIFFERENT!

Remember “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” ~ Elbert Hubbard. May the sunlight illuminate your paths and fair winds greet your sail because you are never alone.

עד שנפגשנו שוב, אולי התענוגות שלו להיות העונג שלך לעשות!

Adios!