Monday, September 18, 2006

Share the Wealth

Last week, one of the MDs I work with said, "I wish I had your zest for life."

It's a gift, this joy, and I think I was given that to balance the sorrow that an extremely tender heart often gives me.

Things that seem small to others -- birds chirping, blue skies, a friendly face -- make my heart sing; while that's a trite way to put it, that's exactly how it feels.

At the same time, other things which people seem to manage to avoid thinking about -- a squashed squirrel, a sad face, an obituary of a stranger -- these leave an ache. When I can help, I don't hurt; but when I can't help, it hurts.

My children are the same way; when they were younger, even though we all knew the animal on the side of the road was dead, we'd all reassure each other with, "It's resting. Just resting. Fast asleep." It was our conspiracy of kindness for each other, helping us protect our emotions...and in helping each other, the original hurt we couldn't help was soothed for us.

Sometimes I think I should have helped my children learn to be emotionally tougher, except that I'm not sure how I would have done that...or that I would have been happy with that result in the long run. I have to admit that it gives me great delight to see my son rescue drowning earthworms, or to hear about my daughter coaxing a scared lost dog from the highway into her car and then finding it a home.

Learning to understand my sadness was my key to finding joy.

So Doc, I hope you can find your zest for life; I've talked with you enough to know you have the sadness down. Perhaps you need your own conspiracy of kindness, and find your delights in the world around you. They're here -- open your eyes and look.


Jay said...

It's hard to find that balance, but it's what saves us in the end.

Rusty said...

I know one of the saddest moments of my life was when a possum ran out in front of me on the road. It was like a shocking kind of sadness. I couldn't believe it happened.

We can't dwell on things like that though, you're right.

Shano said...

Such a wonderful and inspiring post! Thank you for sharing. It's nice to hear of nice and caring people out there. Glad you made lovely people to live the same world as me :)