That's life, that's what all the people say...
The woe-is-me movement is reaching obscene levels in this country.
Everyone has a story to tell of their "hard" life. You know the drill. Abusive childhood. Issues with their parents or children. Not enough money. Car troubles. Taxes. Problems at work. Aches and pains. Pick one or add to the list.
"You're riding high in April, shot down in May..."
But in reality, very few people qualify as genuine down-in-the-luck stories. Everyone has bright moments, dull moments and sad moments. Tragedy strikes us all.
But so do the little miracles of life. Birth. Love. Morning. A rose blooming. Laughing with friends. A grandchild. Feeling good helping someone whether it is at work or elsewhere. Life isn't one big high and it definitely isn't one deep low unless, of course, you convince yourself it is.
"But I know I'm going to change that tune, when I'm back, back on top in June..."
We all bounce back. It's a tragedy people - especially the young - believe they have no other option but to end their lives. They can't see beyond the moment. They don't understand once they get some time between whatever pain they are experiencing, it'll be a distant memory in the rear view mirror of life.
"I said that's life, and as funny as it may seem, some people get their kicks stomping on a dream..."
What's really funny is how we allow others to poison our attitudes and outlooks. If we let something that happened two years ago or 10 years ago eat away at us, the person responsible for the original transgression has claimed total victory and you total defeat. Or if we allow others' unrelenting criticism to steer our path and ex inguish the lights of faith and optimism we have, the joke is on us.
"But I don't let it, let it get me down, because this fine old world, it keeps me around...
And why should we view life as a great burden? It is life, after all. That 8-year-old cancer patient understands that but most of us as adults don't. We have the most precious gift of all that's worth all the wealth in the world - life itself.
"I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king..."
Most of us forget that we are who we are. We get used. We have hard times. There are swashbuckling moments where we have the world at our feet. There are moments of complete bliss. Sometime we are in the rank and file. Sometimes we call the shots. We are not simply shapeless globs of clay. We have the ability to mold who we are and how we respond to various opportunities and circumstances.
Run the race. That's how you get the most out of life. You gain nothing by laying face first in a puddle of self-pity. You can't succeed without failing. You can't experience love without suffering heartbreak. You can't soar like an eagle without having been bound to the earth.
"That's life, I tell you, I can't deny it..."
Life has been that way since the beginning of time. But consider how much better off you are to be alive in 2015 than 1015. Hollywood may sugarcoat the Middle Ages but it wasn't anywhere near as much fun as it looks unless you were on top of the chain that treated the masses as mere chattel. Disease, poverty, starvation, misery and short lives were the standard. That was even the case 200 years ago in this country and is still what a newborn can expect in many parts of the world today.
"I thought of quitting baby, but my heart just ain't going to buy it..."
The appeal of rolling over into a permanent state of self-pity, self-hate or bitter hatred toward everything and all others isn't something one does if you bother to listen to your heart.
That's what that 8 year-old cancer patient is listening to- his or her heart. They're not trying to rationalize out the ways of the world. They're simply trying to enjoy life. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Not an 8 year-old cancer patient. Not a 28-year-old healthy and athletic young man and not a 45-year-old vibrant grandmother of three. So why walk into the quicksand of the past with weights strapped to your ankles?
Frank Sinatra had it right. That's life, and you can't deny it.
This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.