Thursday, February 05, 2009

Talk Thursday: Do I want what I need and do I need what I want?

Every morning during the first hour of my air shift I read the obituaries. Sounds morbid I know, but it is a habit that dates back to my days working in a neighborhood grocery store. I feared asking someone about a friend or loved one and unknowingly causing pain because that person had passed. Causing pain is something I avoid like snakes. The other thing I do from the newspaper (usually in the second hour of my shift) is the daily jumble, sudoko puzzle, and lately feeble attempts at the Cryptoquote. On the same page is Today in History, birthdays, and the thought of the day.

This week’s Talk Thursday blog is spurred by two items I found in today’s paper: A specific obituary and today’s Thought of the Day. The obit hit me first, a beautiful young face smiled from the picture besides her statistics that listed first her age of 16 and second the cause of her death. Suicide. My life has endured the pain and loss of several suicides. A few while I was in high school, my father in law (number 2) back in 1985, and helping my daughters through the suicides and deaths of their school mates.

Suicide, I’ve tried wrapping my head around how dark the future must look. How hopeless a person must feel; how depressed that they saw no alternative but taking their life. To think that they thought not only themselves, but those they love would be better off without them in their lives. I’ve tried to see that darkness and utterly failed, which leads me to realize how deeply dark and lonely it must have truly been. Why did not one see it? At the age of 16 I will naively think that chemical imbalances or medications lead to the taking of her life. A life, I assume, that had promise and hope, so much to offer before it that was lost in a shroud of despair. Could someone have made a difference?

The second item that prompted me to write today post is this thought of the day by John Stuart Mills, 1806 – 1873, English philosopher and economist: “Men do not desire to be rich, but to be richer than other men.”

Well said, thought provoking. Do I want what I need and do I need what I want? Yes. I want to touch others. I have everything physical and material I need; the love of a good man and my dog, the respect of my daughter and mother, a warm fire in my home, a job that buys the wood for that fire and the food in my belly. I have joy in my grandson and friends, my mind is not yet feeble, I have my good health. All those blessings make the pain in my joints and back, minor irritations at best. So touching others and making a difference in their lives is what I want, it is what I need.

Don’t be misled; I have no desire to be the answer to someone’s problems that is too heavy a weight for one person to bear. But I do want to be a person who brings sunshine to others, laughter, solace, a port in the storm, a sounding board of reason in the lives of those who need those things. I do not want what others have or more of it, for in truth I have all I want and that is what I need.

Be a light in someone’s life, reach out and touch, share, give, and get back. To those who have touched my life, thank you, thank you so much for giving of yourself to me and others who have always needed just that.



Steven said...

I remember the day like it was yesterday.....January 31, 1987. And if I forget, I still have the letter tucked away to remind me. I still have yet to fully understand what took me that far.

Thank you for being that "light" in our lives.

Cele said...

Steve, Not all of us have the same moments and I think often how we are prepared helps us greatly deal with the trials we face. For others it is an illness that often runs rampant unseen hidden inside tormenting the body that houses it. I am glad you have much better days, the world is brighter for them.