There are circumstances that must shatter you

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Bridge in fog- hard to see the far bank

My friend Cori passed on this quote from Leon Wieseltier about a year ago. I liked it and keep in close by in a journal:

There are circumstances that must shatter you; and if you are not shattered, then you have not understood your circumstances. In such circumstances, it is a failure for your heart not to break. And it is pointless to put up a fight, for a fight will blind you to the opportunity that has been presented by your misfortune. Do you wish to persevere pridefully in the old life? Of course you do: the old life was a good life. But it is no longer available to you. It has been carried away, irreversibly. So there is only one thing to be done. Transformation must be met with transformation. Where there was the old life, let there be new life. Do not persevere. Dignify the shock. Sink, so as to rise.

It is blunt, and maybe not the message we want to hear. Sometimes there is no hiding from the roller-coaster that life invites us to ride.

In this TED Talk, Stacey Kramer gives her own experience about an encounter with unwelcome news. It is a short talk at 3:18. Stop and take time to watch this and think about your month ahead.

The next time you are faced with something that is unexpected, unwanted and uncertain, consider that it might just be a gift.

In my next post I will introduce my nephew Xander. A sobering reflection on taking a romantic view about the difficulties we face.

We are so incredibly lucky to be able to reflect about these thoughts from our comfortable surroundings of the West. Might someone in extreme poverty just think that this is all self-indulgent clap-trap?


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