Walking along the beach, the small waves lapping at the shore are a welcome sensation. They wash over my toes and remind me of my nearby companion, the ocean.
Waves are a strange thing. The small ones do no harm, other than possibly taking down a sandcastle or two. The large ones, however, can wipe out a town in the blink of an eye.
In life, we all experience waves. Usually they are tolerable and don’t knock us off balance. Then there are times when the waves overtake us and hold us under. As we gasp for air and struggle to reach the surface once more, we reach upward and hope that we will make it.
I’ve learned that it’s wise to always stay within the watchful eye of the Life Guard. He will keep a constant eye on me and will always pull me out when I go under. I am grateful for His presence.
Man has learned to harness the waves of the ocean by sailing atop them. He has found a way to use the ever changing force of the water to get him to the shore he wishes to reach. He will surely encounter storms along the way. As he travels he will rely on his compass to safely guide him through the storms, even when he cannot see the way with his own eyes.
As we sail through the waves of life, we must follow his example. We must learn to use the waves that crash into our lives as a way to reach the place we wish to be next. We need to trust in the guidance that is there for us to use and we must never lose sight of our nearby companion…the Life Guard.
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
Robin Williams was a beloved actor and comedian. He always seemed to be “up”. According to those who knew him well, he was one of the kindest people they’d ever met. I believe that.
When people are fighting tough battles in life, they wear heavy armor. Sometimes the armor takes the form of comedy, sometimes it means becoming a character that makes the world love us more.
When battling depression, everyone deals with it in different ways. Most often it is kept hidden, locked in a small chamber of the heart, always away from prying eyes. But it’s always there and it’s always battling to be king.
Sadly, Robin Williams lost his battle yesterday. It’s a heartbreaking loss for all who loved and admired him, but it’s an even bigger loss to those who are in battle themselves. It’s a sober reminder of the seriousness of this insidious disorder.
Be kind to those whom you suspect are in battle, be kind to those whom you think are just fine. Like the quote says, everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. We must be sure to always give a hand up and to not pile more weight on the soul of another through inconsiderate words or deeds.
Evan Rachel Wood said it best. Below a photo of the beloved Genie from Aladdin she wrote these poignant words: “Genie. You’re Free.”
She crosses the parking lot at a slow pace. For a moment she’s forgotten where’s she’s parked. She looks up to see a man taking her picture. A moment in time, not a good representation of her life but one that will remain forever in the eyes of those who view it.
What are your first impressions about her? She’s old, alone, lost, confused? She isn’t smiling so she must not be very nice.
We see people for brief moments at a time and, as we do, we judge them. We try to figure them out in that small window of time and categorize where we think they belong.
When we do this, we never get the whole story, the bigger picture of the one we so hastily judge.
We will never know that this woman was once a singer and a dancer – we will never know that she has stories to tell that people would pay to hear. We will never know unless we take the time to ask her – to talk with her and let her tell her story.
We all have stories tell, especially the ones that our society so quickly loves to judge. We also have chosen to put unworthy people at the forefront of our national consciousness for reasons unknown. Over the weekend, Kim Kardashian announced that she will be publishing a book of selfies – all yours for only $19.95. Wow.
Back to the woman we met at the top of the story – you know her. “No I don’t,” you say, “I have no idea who she is!” To that I say, bet you do. Here she is in a photo from her younger days. Continue reading