As always, if I have a chance to listen to CBC’s Tapestry on Sunday afternoons, I always learn something. Today’s guests on the topic of “Keeping the Doubt” were contrasts – a rabbi and an atheist. Rabbi Rami Shapiro was telling a story of a dear friend of his who was sick with breast cancer, and held a fundraiser to raise money for a cancer charity. A guest said, ” You must be a very angry woman”, alluding to the fact that we all have a ‘choice’ how we are – sick, poor, homeless – and positive thought can change anything. An astounding accusation, as I can’t imagine anyone choosing – consciously or unconsciously – the road of suffering. I was thinking of this the past week, as some colleagues went to the local Shepherd’s of Good Home to volunteer and asked for games or clothing to assist the men who are there. These men, who don’t have an address or clean clothes, are not necessarily ‘angry’ people. One thing I have come to realize, is despite believing in karma, bad things can happen to good people. As an aside, I donated all of the new board games I have purchased for our Christmas Toy Drive for my colleagues to give to the shelter. Perhaps what they really wanted was an Xbox or a Wii, but at least they will have some Monopoly Millionaire, Yahtzee and Scrabble for now.
Next week’s program is “The Road Not Taken”, exploring why so many people often dwell on the ‘what ifs’ of one’s past… what if I had married my high school sweetheart, what if I had taken that job, what if…? There are so many things in life that we can not control, and the only thing we really can control is the way we act and treat ourselves and others. A lot of other factors are simply luck. I was a baby born to loving parents, grew up in a family full of love, and encouraged to follow my dreams. I met a great man and chose to have two children who are both healthy. My luck could change any day, so instead of thinking of what could have been, I am going to think about what is and enjoy the good, bad and ugly every day. My road taken is one that was full of my choices, and mine alone. I just happened to have a lot of luck along the way.