by David G. Woolley
...Its hidden in the most unusual places.
If there were a pecking order to death, if the best of us got to stay a little longer, I never would have made it past my tenth birthday. Earth life is a reverse discrimination law suit waiting to happen. It seems those of us who don't get it right the first time are awarded a little extra time. Once again, life isn't fair.
So many good people have gotten up and left this week. Javier and Walfred Rabanales, two kind, gifted, humanitarians took their leave last week in the skies above eastern Guatemala. Over the weekend a Bishop in a neighboring Latter Day Saint congregation returned home from his medical practice, sat down on the front porch and complained to one of his seven children he didn't feel well. A few minutes later he was gone. My brother-in-laws father ran into complications with his asthma. The funeral was Tuesday.
I got a call from a former soccer player yesterday. He was distraught. His father, Craig, an engineering professor at Brigham Young University, lost Monday after a painful battle with cancer. The three of us used to talk soccer and engineering. I was better talking soccer. Free kicks. Referees. Manchester United. I knew just enough engineering to stay in the conversation. Righty tighty, lefty loosy. Its highly technical phraseology for nuts and bolts. Clockwise to tighten, counterclockwise to loosen.
When they came out with those funky reverse threaded screws I was no longer on the engineering cutting edge. Righty was no longer tighty. We had to find something else to talk about.
Craig loved fiction. We talked plots and characters into the wee hours. Thanks Craig. Some of your ingenuity, not to mention your passion for the Book of Mormon, is preserved in the pages of the Promised Land Series. You are missed. Never forgotten.
There's a pop culture poem titled the Man in the Mirror. The opening lines go something like this:
When you get all you want in your struggle for self, and the world makes you king for a day, then go to the mirror and look at yourself and see what that man has to say.
The poem's author remains anonymous. That's unfortunate. I like to know which oyster is responsible for the pearls of wisdom before I buy the necklace. The poem continues:
You've passed your most difficult test if the man in the glass is your friend.
I don't doubt that making peace with yourself has merit. If you can't live with yourself, who can? But when did looking in the mirror become the secret to happiness? The Jews who heard Christ deliver the Sermon on the Mount didn't run to the reflective waters of the Galilee for a therapy session. No encounter groups. No psycho analysis.
If you're looking for some peace of mind, if you're searching for the meaning of life, if, by your toil, you're building a memorial for future generations, the instructions are pretty clear. Lose yourself in service to others and you'll find the secret.
To those who passed from this life during the week, thanks for reminding us mortals. Less looking in the mirror. More looking out for each other.
Happiness, it turns out, has always been a vicarious undertaking.
Join author David G. Woolley at his Promised Land Website.