11/18/12

Loss . . .

We talk a lot about "loss" in our society. We care and complain about a lot of things that are completely inconsequential.

Catch the K-State game last night? Bummer, right? Pants a little snug? I feel you. Can't find your car keys? I'll give you a ride somewhere. Upset about The Civil Wars going on hiatus? Not nearly as much as I am.

I want to make a modest proposal - let's stop tossing around the word "loss" and let's start to ration our requests for help, support, sympathy, and how we respond to these inquiries and put some actual parameters in place to make things a wee easier for those who really are in need.

Three criteria I might suggest:

1) Has YOUR life been altered in some way by what has (not) happened?
2) Is there any way to get it back in line or make it right, on your own or with the help of others?
3) Does your "loss" have an objective value that others could easily understand and relate to?

If you manage things on your own, try. If you can't not - get all the help that is appropriate. 

I've gained weight, I'm getting divorced, my company is not as strong and successful as we'd hoped, I don't have the happiest of dreams most nights and my thermostat is super sensitive in the wrong direction. NONE of you care and none of you should.

I saw people experience true loss this week. Something so profoundly shook their lives that I would have crumbled if in their shoes. Instead, I was merely a witness. I could feel their loss and offer support, help, and encouragement. I showed love and friendship in ways that were so simple and obvious that I hope it wasn't even noticed. It didn't matter what I did. Those feeling loss showed such grace, strength, and uncompromised love for each other and for their loss that I was left humbled and even more sure that my trivial woes in this world are not worth airing to anyone else. Even my pain-in-the-ass shrink.

Life is short and precious, my friends. Keep perspective. Be mindful. Make sure the people and things in your life that you hold most dear know their meaning and their value. Stop trying make everything precious or important. Only a very small portion of "stuff" is and if it makes the cut - it deserves your attention.