Illustrations by: Dawn LaRochelle

The Uplook

FTLComm - Tisdale - Saturday, January 31, 2004

It was late in the afternoon as we crossed Victoria Park and my friend was still feeling the loss of his mother who had died some months earlier. He was a successful professional who had never been satisfied with a single degree but had worked tirelessly to take more classes and ever expand his understanding of the world.

“You know,” he said, “ all of the important decision in my life were made for me.”

I asked him to explain this comment for indeed being much young and pretty much a fool I wanted to understand what great mystery he had uncovered.

“My wife chose me, I became what I am today almost by accident and of all the decisions I think I made, most of them were circumstance and often the only possible available choice at the time.”

He explained in detail how he had married such a wonderful woman and great mother and how they had shared both his career and their business and never regretted a single moment of their lives together but could not claim it as a success on his part but rather their marriage had just seemingly come about, almost on its own.

He told of his days working to provide a supplemental income to his family and how he was determined to better himself and go on to University but it just happened that he went into the profession he was in and all the little decisions in between were automatic, logical and not what one would think of as acts of conscious decision making. He was a success, he was wealthy and a happy man and yet felt he could take no direct credit for his good fortune.

I have often thought that I could have had that same conversation with a person who did not have a great marriage and did not have a successful career and that same individual would also have had little conscious input into the outcome.

Although this sounds remarkably fatalist, I must tell you that I am one of those people who has the most determined belief that we are all responsible for our actions and that the decisions in life that we make, all matter. But what so often happens is that we naturally respond to circumstances and the really important things, when they come along are often out of our hands. Curiously, we so often tell ourselves that we somehow influenced what happened but mostly we are along for the ride and afterward sort out the situation in a rational way.

We have just come through a week of serious weather and no matter how much you watched the weather channel or listened to the weather on the radio you and I could not alter the course of events this past week. Life itself is like that, our role is most often to see and understand what is happening but we can only change a few things and must guard against suffering from the frustration of being forced to accept the external things that we as individuals can not alter or change.

If you look at your friends and neighbours you will discover that there are so many people who have come to terms with reality. They know their limitations, the understanding of the forces of nature and the world at large and have the peace of mind that they have done all that they can and must accept those things that are beyond them.

Those people who live and work in the agricultural industry can only do so because they have learned that their lives must have other rewards beyond income.

Just as every couple understands the full meaning of the risk they take in offering and accepting to share with a partner their lives, "for better or worse in sickness and in health."

For each of us we must come to the realisation that we will live in the future, we will not make or create the future for it indeed will make and create us. At no time can we abdicate our responsibilities, nor can we give up, life is by its very nature a struggle and struggle we must. We will make choices, good ones and sometimes not so good but ultimately details contribute to and do not determine the ultimate outcome of any on going experience.

Timothy W. Shire

Illustrations by Dawn LaRochelle


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
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