The last story I read, the story of the death of a man after he jumped off a bridge, witnessed by a firefighter, has haunted me. What are we doing? I had a call tonight from someone who I know talking about her anxiety. This person is successful by any standard. Yet she is concerned about her relationships. Her ability to contribute (although she volunteers). Her ability to maintain intimacy (she’s young). The bottom line is that if she’s anything to go by, we have a problem.
Human society has always been a crucible. So many assumptions about our common purpose paper over the reality that we’re all on individual missions, all working out our own responses to the slights and stings that life has dealt us. And we’re not alone. We’re nested among the species and circumstances that are also attempting to adjust and readjust to the punishments and beatings that human action implies. The wounds and winding posts, the inevitable ends of actions that were taken without any consideration of the outcome. We’re all privy to the implications. We all live with the consequences. Yet there is the possibility of portents not indicated by the oracle. We could lift ourselves out of the fray. We could do things differently. Everything could change. How? Merely by noticing. By holding up a momentary pause in reaction and seeing what happens if we become entirely open to the notion that nothing is inevitable.