Life is an opportunity to spend a brief period of time in this world. During this minimal space of time we are fortunate to enjoy what most others cannot do. Most of the people who have ever lived are dead. Therefore we are in a very rare state of existence. We are in the land of the living. We breathe, eat, work, worry, cry, laugh and either enjoy or hate life.
I read about young adults who die almost every day. Young people overdosing on drugs, alcohol or committing suicide. Millions more live in a depressive state. Life has its ups and downs and there is really no such thing as a perfect life. All of us are faced with sickness, caregiving, worries, stress, messes, disappointments, sadness, victories and more. It's life.
We often look at other lives and envy them. We develop the impression that others are free of problems and sadness when often those who seem to be the happiest struggle the most. While being a caregiver for 12 years an acquaintance commented to me, "You seem to have the world by the tail. No one would ever dream you have a problem in the world." Smiling, trying to keep a good attitude and being kind to others throws a lot of people off. Sadly, we aren't used to seeing this in most people.
We can't live our lives based on others. No one thing will make you happy or fill you with a vibrant life. No one person makes you alive. No one certain job will make you alive. Life is not ultimately found in money, a relationship, a child, a career, a house or anything. All of these of course add to our living. However, ultimate living is more powerful than any one certain thing, event or person. I understand losing a child or spouse in death cuts our hearts out. I've buried a child and a wife. It's horrific. I've had disappointments in business, frustrating jobs and fallen flat on my face.
I know what it's like to draw unemployment. I know what it feels like to go to the county social services office and apply for Medicaid because I couldn't afford to pay for my wife's nursing home expenses. I know what it's like to lose "friends" because I didn't do exactly as they thought I should do. Oh well.
Lots of stuff can rob us of life. Don't let this political season sour your life. Carefully consider who you think will be best for protecting our country by bringing our jobs back, updating our infrastructure, strengthening our Social Security and strengthening our military. Fighting and arguing about it all day is a waste of energy. Make your choice and vote.
My preacher was talking a lot about life at church this past Sunday. He quoted a verse of scripture from Proverbs 12:28, "In the way of righteousness there is life." He talked about choosing to live. There are choices that lead to death but there are choices that lead to life.
I hope today that you choose to live and love life. It's a brief experience.
Glenn Mollette is an syndicated columnist and author of 11 books and read in all 50 states. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of this paper.