Between the Applause
Can any one of us say that in our whole lives we have been totally unloved or unlucky? We have surely had moments where we felt the hand of fate touching our shoulders with kindness, perhaps, when friends wished us well. When life seems so bleak that getting out of bed is a bother, remembering those moments, ephemeral as they might have been, can bring us back to optimism.
Many achieve great things, not for the money, but for that slap on the back from a job well done. Many are prolific writers of suspense novels that enthral readers. Some, continually perform in plays so that they might hear clapping audience members and read glowing reviews. Bakers spend hours opening hot oven doors to win contests, traveling to distant towns in hopes of bringing back that blue ribbon. A few repeatedly run for public office, never retiring. Are they really that philanthropic, or is it their way of getting commendations? Many keep striving to gain approval, perhaps from parents who never gave it.
What drives us? Some, of course, are driven by baser motives. They fall in love with vehemence and hatred, striving to do the worst by their fellow human beings that they might feel superior, gloating that they scammed others they regard as lesser. But, of course, we know that beneath their arrogant exteriors, they feel inferior.
Most of us, however, are driven by love, to give and share it. Those wonderful moments, however, pass as quickly as a flitting butterfly. How do we live between them?
We go to work, go to sleep, go for walks, go to church, watch television, cook dinners, create projects, or care-give to grateful or thankless recipients. We don't, however, think about doing something simply because people will love and admire us. We go through our daily routines without realizing why we live. We mostly live out our lives by rote without awareness.
Too much awareness can be maddening, literally. It sometimes takes living a mediocre life to get through life. Too much awareness of the complexities and fallibility of human beings can make our lives unbearable. Just compare the lives of our great artists, composers, or authors to those who punch the clock at boring jobs. One group might live short, but strife filled lives while the other group may live long, but uncluttered lives. Then there are those who live a mixture of both. They are probably the majority.
Getting through life successfully may really mean living between the applause successfully with peaceful hearts, instead of merely building up financial or artistic portfolios. This requires an amount of spirituality. Some use religion to get them there, others commingle with the natural world inspired by birds, bees, and butterflies.
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Goodbye Patch, my best buddy. I will love you forever. You evoked immediate love in everyone whoever laid eyes on you. Those who turned you away were fools. You were the most loyal, loving, and forgiving friend one could ever have. You were my little independent mama's boy, but I haven't felt you jump back on the bed and press you back against my chest to lay your head in the crook of my elbow. I selfishly hope the Universe doesn't have more important things for you to do, or someone else to guide along. Until we meet again, my life will be lesser for your absence.
... stay tuned ...