Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Epoch of Epic

Twice a day, every day, an old man hobbles with his bent legs and a stick down and up the cobbled land outside my window. This is no need for him to shop twice a day. He does it to get out and about. He moves very slowly, with great concentration and care… His face is expressionless under his flat cap; his patience is absolute.

He pauses halfway up the lane and leans resting on his stick. His legs are very thing, the trousers flap loosely. The old man calls to someone passing at the top of the lane; they wave and walk on briskly. He shifts his stick, looks up at the top of the lane and moves on, eyes fixed on his objective. As he tackles the last steep ramp his head goes down and he pauses, rocking, between each step. He makes the top, wobbles, then steps down off the pavement and he’s made it. His shoulders sag, he looks around at the trees, the newly returned swallows carving up the air, the kids playing football and the mechanic bent over the car. A perfectly average precious morning. Then he straightens up and hobbles on along the road to the right, inching out of my line of vision.

This is the real thing, done daily, humbly, for no fame or applause, to no end but self-respect and the purchase of daily bread.

I love that quote. In an epoch of epic, where bigger, longer, faster is viewed as better and get more views/likes on twitter/Facebook, it’s sometimes important to take a step back and realize what we are doing it all for.  It’s sometimes the mundane daily challenges that are the most heroic and yet most often ignored. Like the father who works a second(or third) job to give his children advantages he never had. Or a person with rheumatoid arthritis who still gets up, despite the pain, to go to work every morning. Someone dealing with racism(or any other ism) day in and day out. Or an old man fighting valiantly against time and gravity. 

It’s easy to be dismissive of the mundane saying that they are not achievements just part of life. And yes while that may be true, getting through life isn’t always easy and sometimes the exact opposite. Living in a country with the highest suicide rate in the world, I can attest that many people opt out entirely. Whether it's visible or not, everyone is going through some form of struggle or challenge. Many of which will never make it on social media.

But it, nevertheless, is still an achievement when we rise up above our challenges and see what a wonderful opportunity we have in this life. The alternative just isn't appealing to me and hopefully isn't to you.  No matter how you got to this moment, you are here now. Congratulations. That certainly was epic!

Look around, breathe, love, live. Give thanks.

Until next time,


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