Thursday, May 05, 2011

a wrench in the works

life sometimes has a way of throwing a wrench in the works.

you'll have things going in a groove. like a smooth-running, well-oiled, perfectly timed machine with all its parts in synchronous order. gears shifting, axles turning, valves actuating, levers lifting, in unison, with all activity working together towards a common purpose: a constant, powerful, effortless, inexorable, steady motion forward. at those times it will seem like you're unstoppable.

but then life has a way of throwing a wrench in the works.

call it chaos, call it accident, call it malice, call it intentional. destiny. serendipity. willful wanton mayhem. from unseen gods and demons or creatures of the corporal earth. from strangers or friends, or even family or yourself. something happens that knocks you off your groove and sends your machine suddenly careening to a screeching, thundering, shuddering, crushing, shattering, crunching, utterly disintegrating destructive halt. and all you'll have left is a pile of parts smoking in ruin, with your world completely stopped.

your responses in these times are pretty simple:

you can do nothing. give up. surrender. call it a day. go home. or away. anywhere but here. leave. and let things stay as they are. hopeless. which is pretty much what you're conceding: a state without hope. a state of utter despair.

but know that if you choose to do this you're leaving the problem as it is. and problems have a way of not going away. they don't fix themselves. no one fixes them for you. they stay. and in some cases, if left alone, they grow. which is a problem if you're under a delusion that you can run away or that you can eventually come back, because you'll find all you've done by doing nothing is to enable things to continue or to make things worse.

alternatively, you can do something. stay. figure out what went wrong. why things happened. when and where and how events unfolded. and next figure out a solution to either rectify the cause or prevent it from happening again. and then finally reassemble all your pieces with their workings in accordance with the solution. with the hope, the belief, the will that the machinery will get back up and running again. forward.

this isn't easy. it takes time. it takes work. it takes thinking about the problem, facing the facts, and being honest. often alone. it can be brutal. but it will get you moving again. and it ensures that the problem will not continue and that the problem will not become worse. for you or the world around you.

make no mistake, both of these choices hurt. a lot.

but the difference is that the former will last a whole lot longer, because it perpetuates destruction. the latter is a whole lot shorter, because it engages in construction. one allows the world to become a worse place and the other acts to make the world a better place.

and there's already too much of one and not enough of the other; you don't need to add to the misery that's already out there.

you see, life always has a way of throwing a wrench in the works. it's inevitable. it's invariable. it's life. it's why so many things are the way they are.

you, however, can choose want you want your life to be. you can choose your destiny. you can choose your response to the way things are: you can choose to make your world worse or you can choose to make your world better.

you can choose to make things better.

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