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home : opinion : opinion July 4, 2020

2/28/2020 12:47:00 PM
Life Worth Living

Marty Reep, Author
Speaker, Forward-Thinker

In a time where extremes seem to hog the headlines, there is a space in the middle of those extremes that still reminds me that there is sanity and peace in the world. At the outset, one day, somebody breaks a world record. The next day, somebody kills a dozen people. In other places, some people scream for more rights, while others yell that they deserve more access and privilege than the other ones who are screaming.

None of us are immune to the extreme emotions that can come with the death of loved ones, loss of a business, birth of children, winning the lottery, news of cancer, natural disasters, drops in the economy, or sudden success. Yet, thankfully, we do not live at the edge of any one of those emotions all the time.

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By grace, those extremes tend to come in small doses, though the really bad ones may seem to come in concentrated amounts. Still, because God knows that we can only handle so much at once, he allows those extremes – bad and good – to attend us for a season, and then to pass on, allowing us to return to a sounder place in the middle.

Once in a while, people post pictures online of amazing coastlines, skylines, or food. What they don’t post – yet still occurred in order for the extremes to occur – are pictures of lugging suitcases up flights of stairs when the elevator is broken, scraping bugs off the windshield, picking out food that got stuck between their teeth, restarting the computer in order to simply send an email, and waiting in line.

Many of those assorted things happen to many of us, yet we talk more about the extremes than the ordinaries. Ironically, retelling the ordinaries is what have continued to make Jane Austen’s (and others’) stories so compelling. By glimpsing into the normalcy of another human’s life, we somehow find peace in our own. That may be because in seeing that others have to wash socks, too, then we’re okay.

Again, in the midst of the comings and goings of all the edge-walking max limits, there is a centered realm that affords each of us a peaceful set of extended moments. Though we may deny that we actually like the humdrum or boring times of our lives, when taken in context of the overall summation, we each secretly enjoy some of the status quo. Whatever that may be, we enjoy part of it, because we can depend on the long stretches of normalcy in our lives.

Time with a friend, reading, talking on the phone with family, helping a neighbor, throwing out stuff from the junk drawer, texting a long-lost friend that comes to mind, getting gas, paying bills, and washing clothes – are all things that are not necessarily exciting, but they make up the foundations of our lives.

Why are they important? Because in those early morning or late night hours when we cannot avoid our own thoughts, we realize that we have become a summation of our experiences, up to a point. And, when those experiences, relationships, givings, and forgivings total up the grandness of completeness, then those make a life worth living.

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