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Chatterbox: Who’s got our backs


The eternal question as to why we are here and why anyone is anywhere in particular, will never be answered … at least, not in this place in time.

In life, where we land on the planet, whom we inherit and whom we meet are all just spins of the wheel, dumb luck. That is clear if we think about the hand we are dealt even unto our own placement upon the planet … not the placement of mankind in general but, rather, the placement of each of us individually.

People are born every second of every minute of every day; none of us is unique in our humanity. We each and all have special traits to be sure, but no matter how unique any one trait may make us, we recognize that each person born, even those with identical siblings, is unique. Paradoxically, even though singularly unique, no person is more than a mere human.

The family we inherit is also critical and again I use the world “lucky.” If we are lucky enough to inherit a supportive and soluble family, we are truly blessed. What our family instills in us from birth shapes our choices even as circumstances affect us. Whom we surround ourselves with and what we do as we grow older are our choices, but those choices don’t just affect who we are. They are affected by who we are, and who we are is shaped by how our luck has influenced us.

Also, today as always, where one is born is one of those very particular spins of the wheel which, relatively speaking, makes us some luckier than others around the world. Even in some great nations, things are declining and will continue to become harder but, for now, the residents aren’t fleeing for their lives, dodging bombs daily or walking miles for fresh water. Residents of some nations do.

Why some of us fare better in health or geographical place and time of birth is just mere fallout of the cosmic wheel. Even for those of us, right here and now, seeing these words and knowing what they mean makes us fortunate. For others, just being born in certain countries today, or being born at other times in history, could make life dangerous at best.

We simply can’t compare being born today to being born, for example, during the Black Plague or the Spanish Inquisition. We can’t compare living today in Norway to being a Rohingya or being forced to flee any of the deadly political climates around the world today.

When we are lucky enough to be born in relative safety, able to achieve, to get through our early years without grave or unique emotional trauma, to feel safe and protected, and to be educated – not just formally at school but humanly educated, learning altruism, compassion, self-worth, self-sufficiency, and a sense of our world community – we are truly lucky.

Good fortune should make us want to work for the world to become a better place for everyone. Even if that effort is just making donations and remaining politically fair, we should occupy ourselves with the many who just weren’t that lucky. Yes, we may work hard, but again, the spin of the wheel affects everyone, even in their ability to strive.

Around the world, including right here in America, there are people struggling every day just to survive, and even children scramble just to eat (Flint still doesn’t have clean water). If we are among those who know any level of comfort, we are indeed in good grace with the wheel. For all the others, well, they rely on hope and change provided by those to whom the wheel has delegated the power.

In the original “Superman” movie, Lois Lane falls from a building. Superman, flying, catches her saying, “Don’t worry; I’ve got you.” She asks, “You’ve got me? Who’s got you?”

Well, whose back have we got, we, who have found favor with the wheel?

Chatterbyte: Our community and the Herald recently lost a lovely lady, Elizabeth Bowman, about whom I would like to share a moment: Years ago, my mother lived in New Hope and, shopping one day alone, took a fall. She wasn’t injured, but shaken, and her good luck was being found by Liz. Liz didn’t know the woman was my mother but she helped her up and drove her home, which was not far away. Then, Liz walked back to my mother’s car and returned it to her. I just had to share her specialness.