On this Independence Day as we celebrate our 240th birthday, our festive celebratory mood is tempered by the solemn events of mass carnage that our world is facing. Our collective being is ravaged by fear of the base instincts of hate all around us. How can this not effect our psychic well being as we try to move forward and enjoy a special day for all people who love their individual freedoms as well as a desire to see social justice in the world? I can’t offer a magic pill to bring us some sense of inner peace but I can remind us that our entire time on this planet is filled with contradictions. Call it the Yin and the Yang of everyday existence or just the constant decisions that we must make daily in order to have a healthy and pleasurable life.
No, we cannot guarantee that we will always be safe out there in the world but avoiding the journey of daily experience will never be the answer either. We must accept the risk to our existence as we take reasonable precautions while soldiering on each day with appreciation and fortitude while carving out a piece of happiness for ourselves and the people around us that we love.
There is a Peanuts cartoon that I keep on my website that sums this up for me. As Charlie Brown and Snoopy sit on the dock looking out upon the water, Charlie ruminates that “Someday we will all die, Snoopy” and our wise little canine philosopher responds, “True, but on all of the other days we will not.”
For all of those other days ahead we must make the healthiest and most enjoyable life possible while taking precautions for a sense of control over the unknown. There are no guarantees for our safety but living within our private universe in constant fear and trepidation will never provide us with a life worth living.
Just a thought as I read the news of our world events on this wonderful sunny afternoon celebrating both out national independence as well as our interpersonal independence from fear.