Six Weeks a Lifetime

What a strange year this week has been.

This year has been a one for the history books in may ways. We have all learned that anything is possible. Murder hornets, 19+ hurricanes, pandemics, isolation, quarantine, Australian bushfires, protests for everything, strange elections, west coast fires. The loss of family members and even Alex Trebeck. I hope Betty White is safe, because we need her. And now everyone is putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving – including me. It is now called the ThanksChristmas Tree. And it is hard when you cannot see friends and family.

I think we have all been left shaking our heads trying to figure out what just happened all year. The holidays are coming, and no one knows what to expect. Are we going to wake up to snow in the South, a heat wave up north and rain in the dessert? At this point no one would even bat a an. Just give the steak knives to who ever had that on their 202 Bingo Card.

So maybe this is the wrong year to stop sniffing glue. Or anything really. Our vices have helped us survive this year. Usually I think about what I want for the new year, but that is a bit hard when this year has been so…2020. But this is what I want:

To see my family and friends. It isn’t so much about travel as it is about seeing and hugging and being in the presence of those I love. To travel again. To laugh with my friends in a bar, or movie, or to explore the wonderful city where I live.

I do believe that we must concentrate on what we do have, and not what we don’t. There is much that is out of our control right now, but we can focus and what we can control. That gives a sense of nomality.

I can control how much I talk to my friends and family. I can still love them endlessly, laugh and cry with them. Share with them. I can cook wonderful meals, spend time talking to neighbors that those who live close. There are Christmas lights to see and gifts to buy and wrap. There are trips to plan for soon, when borders are back open. And there are still smiled to be seen, kisses, glasses of wine, great conversations and the ability to connect on a human level. Those are all things that we can control. Our mindset, our hearts, our willingness to still be there and share with others.

Life is short. And even in these times, we can do what we can to make the last 6 months of this crazy year the best that it has ever been. Because let’s face it, we are not alone. It has been crazy for everyone. So let’s have a big virtual party and gives ourselves a pat on the back. We’ve made it this far, and we are doing OK. So 2020, bring it. Because 2021 is going to be the year we all want, full of joy and happiness and hope. We just have to make it another 6 weeks in this lifetime of a year.

Need and the Human Condition

To need and to be needed is one of the most beautiful things we can experience in this lifetime as human beings. Not only does it ensure survival of the species, it is also a joyful feeling, or should be. We are human. We NEED each other:

Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.

But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.”

To need and to be needed is a beautiful fact of The Human Condition. To deny that you need, is to deny that Joy of being needed, as well as the joy of someone needing you. That mutual need is one of the basic building blocks of not only human connection. but of love and relationships as well.

But somewhere along the way, some ascertained that needing, or having any attachment to anyone is negative and unhealthy. When in fact, it is not needing and not being attached that shows an unhealthy life. How do we know this? Because our need and attachment to others ensures the survival of the species. Mothers must be attached to their children and the children must need their parents in order to survive. A 10 year old child cannot survive without their mother. And their mother must be attached enough to nurture them.

Families must be attached enough and need each other in order to stay together to survive. Before children, a couple must be attached enough to each other to have and raise a child together. And yet, so many adults in the world fear both and see it as a sign of weakness.

In the old days. there had to be love, though love seems to be virtually obsolete in this day and age, for anything. But maybe that is why so many are so lost in this world. Maybe it is because we are being told by so many – Don’t get attached. Don’t need anyone. Don’t need anything. Let it all go. Being attached to anything, a person, an outcome, anything, is unhealthy.

Sorry, I call bullocks on the whole thing. To love and be loved is a beautiful thing. To need and be needed is a beautiful thing. And to run from any of those is to run from the very things that not only are part of the human condition. It is also to deny the joy of so many beautiful things in this life.

To me it is incredibly simple – God loves us, and we love each other. The love I have for God originates from the same place as my love for others. And you cannot truly honor God and his commandments to us, without love, need and attachment. So it is written.

Life is short. Be attached, yet love freely. Don’t fear needing or being needed. Fear being a shriveled up bitter person who refuses to need anyone. No man is an island, and no heart that is open will every be truly alone.