I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the economy and the end of the world lately. And if you believe everything you read, at any given moment, you will feel like you are being catapulted towards some catastrophic oblivion. What can YOU do to prepare yourself? How can YOU be one of the survivors of all of the horrible things that may lurk just around the corner?
And then it dawned on me how much time a lot of us spend trying to protect ourselves and to try to fight our way to the front of the line. When you think of strength and success, what do you think of? There is this ideal of someone who is powerful physically or mentally. Perhaps someone who never shows their vulnerability. This person may have all the toys, all the money and looks that kill. This person may have all the answers, the best antivirus software, the concrete bunker full of provisions, or the most acute lawyer. Strength usually isn’t equated with a flower on a sidewalk or a wandering poet.
And then I think of the Titanic. A large ship that has been deemed unsinkable. We all want to deny the reality that we are all going to die at some point, even though we are all going down, whether it’s in 2012, a collapsed world economy, or of ripe old age in the year 2067. And then it dawned on me that it doesn’t really matter how long you live, what really matters is what you do with the time you have.
What would you think about if you knew you only had a little time left? Would it be having all the best stuff, being the most powerful or surviving for a bit longer?
If you read about the experiences of people who had near-death experiences, you will find many people realize just how upside down their priorities were. What once seemed important, falls away. What we once ignored or cast aside for the more “important” things begins to shine, the treasures in life that come in very simple packages. The opportunity to help someone by the road, the proud builder of a sand castle, the flower that grows out of the sidewalk. The gentle fall of rain and the stillness of trees. The musician that sings out by the side of the road. And it becomes apparent that innocence, trust, and compassion have always been more potent, more strong than the strongest fortress or the most clever escape plan.
When the Titanic was going down, there were many people struggling to get on one of the few lifeboats. Perhaps they were pushing others out of the way-others that would die in their place. And then there were the musicians who played their music as the boat sank.
When you die, and if you were watching yourself moving in and out of life, what part do you want to play? The one who fought and pushed all others aside and made it to the lifeboat?
Or would you stand on that sinking ship under a clear black sky filled with stars, and offer your song to comfort those around you, knowing full well that you are near the end?
Everyone has that spark of music within them. The real question is whether you choose to take up your bow and play.