“It will be alright” How many times have we heard those words and secretly relegated the speaker into the category of one of the ‘Smugs’? Your inward dialogue goes something like this: “of course it is alright for you – you have a home, someone who adores you, your health, money in the bank, perfect children, investment properties, a trip to Europe planned and slim ankles” as we meekly sit there and receive their smug platitudes across the cafe table. But will it really be alright? Who can guarantee that? Who decides what happens to you and what pattern your life will take? Why was one child (me) conceived in a chilly New Zealand town in 1953 and another in the war torn Gaza strip in 2009? Why must some people suffer so much, and others seemingly glide through life as though coated with teflon – crap just seems to not affect them. The answer my dear readers is – I do not know why.
I had been reading a lot of philosophy as an antidote to all of the novels I read while doing my degree. The conclusion is I don’t think they really know either. Pop philosopher Alain Bouton has some quirky and unique thoughts on life, but in the end one thing is true. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. Also, good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Life just is. It happens. So, will it be alright? Is this just a mealy mouthed Pollyannaish platitude to keep the great unwashed in a state of forward momentum so they can function as cogs in the great machine of life?
I don’t really believe that anybody but God has the full answer (and yes, I do believe in God, though I don’t really understand why he allows things to happen, but I believe he allows us to make choices which can have bad repercussions. It is called free will). So, do we just exist or do we choose to live?
I spent much of my life as a very negative person (surprise surprise) I once overheard myself described as “Jones the Moans”. Hurtful as that was, I thought I was entitled to moan about life. It was pretty damn hard at times and I needed all the sympathy I could get to help me by, or so I thought.
Over the years I have gradually come to see that yes: it will be alright. Shit will happen, and it does. Also good things happen. Life just happens – that is the nature of the process. However, it is how we react that determines how we live.
I am now grateful for a body that mostly works and is still reasonably fit. I am thankful for two great kids and wonderful grandkids who makes me smile. You know by now that a wonderful latte can make me happy. As is finding your favourite authors’ books cheap at a garage sale. My body works, I have a roof over my head, a good brain, great sense of humour, faith in God, beautiful music on the stereo and a ripe mango for lunch. I have enough in my purse to pay for a coffee out. I have a great friend to share that experience with. I have enough credit on my credit card to buy the perfect dress if it is on sale. My cat is purring on the bed and for today, all is well.
So yes, it will be alright.