Life Goes On

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Sunday, June, 05 2011 06:15:00 pm   , 604 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 29359 views


(This is a small essay I originally posted on my Yahoo! 360 blog on 26 July 2007.  I wrote it in about an hour in response to a blog entry which stated that we should accept whatever hand life deals us.)


The mistakes we make in life can teach us in ways that observation and advice cannot. Experience often makes the most lasting impression. What a pity, then, that at times, in trying to do the right thing, we may even unwittingly risk all we truly love, just to be crushed by the cruel teacher "fate" (just to learn a lesson). We learn from our mistakes, but our mistakes and their results do not, in my opinion, lead to some divine or universal perfection that was meant to be, anymore than our successes do. Choices made are just choices, some better than others. The road not taken is just a road not taken.

I reject the notion that whatever is, whatever happens, was meant to be. People say "Put matters into God's hands; if they were meant to be, they will be." So, when our lives thus become crap because of the "ordained" choice we opt for, do we really believe THAT is what God really really wanted for us? Que será será: I think not! No, way, José. "Stuff" happens, but we don't have to like it, and we don't have to accept it. It doesn't all "work out in the end"! One bad thing can just lead to an endless series of more bad things. Losing the love of your life, for example, just leads to a crappy life, not a new day of glorious other opportunities. People make good decisions and bad ones; the good ones don't necessarily indicate good intentions, and the bad ones don't always result from bad intentions. "The road to Hell," it is said, "is paved with good intentions." Maybe such builders just need better maps, not worse intentions! Sometimes we can't help others, love others, if we don't know what they really need or what they really want from this life!

We have free will. We have faith. Faith doesn't mean we should just camp out and let "stuff" happen. Some people prefer those who take such a course. After all, such fatalistic individuals are so tractable in allowing others to make that perfect pie-in-the-sky, that "ordained," "divine perfection" of everything always working out in the end. We have free will to do good or bad, to accept or reject that which happens in our and others' lives. We have the will to change things, as well as the will to accept things. Sometimes mistakes can be made in the doing, but they can also be made in the not doing---not doing things such as forgiving, especially when another makes mistakes for the right reasons. Fighting the good fight, doesn't always lead to a better tomorrow, but it's still the right thing to do. Not everyone accepts the good intentions of those who wish them well. Perhaps the well-wisher was mistaken to trouble the other, but the other is mistaken to not appreciate or forgive. People make mistakes in trying to do the right thing and in how they go about it. But is it right, to see them as paving a road to Hell? (After all, such a person COULD have decided to stay home and watch "reality" t.v., instead of toiling for others.)

Mistakes don't have to be permanent. They can be tools for learning. They can be just a twist in the road of life. They can even be opportunities for building things better and stronger.

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