“None of us get a perfect life,” she said at the end of describing years of despair after being widowed as a young military wife with two children under four. Years later, I still reflect on her words and that decades-later conclusion she’d evolved to proclaim.
As we enter this new year of possibility and challenge, it’s good I think, to remember that perspective in our own worlds. Not all of us must deal with the tragedy of sudden loss, the distress of withering vitality, or the hopeless words of medical providers; not all of us must live with perpetual violence, starving children, or utmost poverty; not all of must face hatred, injustice, or inhumanity. Some of us do live with much heavier burdens on this planet.
While I count myself among the most fortunate despite a few challenging squalls here and there, my heart turns to those who face an everyday life under grim circumstances, unimagined grief, or perpetual hardships. Their struggles make my own seem shallow, trivial, and insignificant because they are in the bigger scheme of things.
Yet even for the most fortunate – there is no perfect life. We all face (continue reading →)