Friday, February 24, 2006

A Big World

Some interesting points being raised on Blythe Lane's blog about being single. In one particular post, there was a link to an article exploring the question "So, Why aren't you Married?". I happened to read it, and while there were good points about it, something in it didn't sit right with me. See the comments section to see what I had to say.

It did get me extrapolating thoughts, however. Do people get too wrapped up in the state of their own being? I know everyone's got their problems and it can seem bad. But I think people tend to lose sight of the bigger picture all the time. They get wrapped up in the details of their own existence, and make mountains out of mole hills.

I remember when I was on dialysis and things were not going well with it, and the job I had at the time involved customer service. I always dealt with the people's issues as they came, but I remember thinking as people got wound up and belligerent about small details, "Is that your big problem for the day? You lucky #$%&! I'll show you problems." Then I'd get to the dialysis unit and look at the suffering people around me and realized that as bad as I thought I had it, there were people sitting right next to me that had it worse. A woman who had been on dialysis for 20 years. A man that had no hope of a transplant because of other health issues. So, they could have said the same thing to me as I thought about the customers earlier, and it all comes back around. It's all a matter of perspective.

Like the one guy on an episode of Third Watch said: "You want to be compassionate? Try putting yourself 2nd, or not at all. But start there, and the rest will take care of itself." Imagine if we all did that, what kind of a world it would be. The downside is, imagine how brutal four way stops would become :)

There is a bigger picture and a bigger world out there. The irony is that to help a big world, we have to work on the small things. Maybe if we all just concentrated on helping other's through their problems, ours would seem smaller. Not only that, the world would be a better place. You can't save the world, but you can help the guy next to you.

Reminds me of that fantastic story arc of the first part of season 2 of Angel where at the end of the Epiphany episode he and Kate are talking (would have to know your continuity to get the double epiphany impact of it, but still a good speech):

Angel: It doesn't.
Kate: It doesn't what?
Angel: Mean anything. In the greater scheme, the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win.
Kate: You seem kind of chipper about that.
Angel: Well, I guess I kind of...worked it out. If there's no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters...then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do now, today. I fought for so long for redemption, for a reward, and finally just to beat the other guy. But I never got it.
Kate: And now you do?
Angel: Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I want to help because I don't think people should suffer as they do. Because, if there's no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness, is the greatest thing in the world.
Kate: Yikes. Sounds like you've had an epiphany.
Angel: I keep saying that, but nobody's listening.
Kate: Well, I'm pretty much convinced, since I'm alive to be convinced.
Angel: You know, you don't have to be --
Kate: I'm ok. Anyway, I'm not headed towards another pill-a-thon. I'm very grateful. I never thought you'd come for me, but I got cut a huge break and I believe. I don't know what I believe, but I...have faith. I think maybe we're not alone in this.
Angel: Why?
Kate: Because I never invited you in.
There is no big win. But we need to show kindness, to help others, and to keep fighting the fight. However, we're not alone. There is a Higher Power, with a plan, that will help us, but it is up to us to make what we will of this life and to help each other through it.

Comments on "A Big World"


Blogger The Original LRU said ... (February 25, 2006 1:42 AM) : 

Blogs... I guess it's not called the World Wide Web for nothing. :-)

In the interests of keeping things linked, I left a related comment on Blythe Lane's blog, and making a note of it here.

Interesting reads!


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