Speeding down the highway when suddenly a stoplight appears
today at 8:00 am
We were driving on a super-highway, pedal to the metal, when suddenly we were forced to slam on the brakes and come to a grinding halt. At first, we stifled our annoyance but as time passed, we leaned on the horn to signal our exasperation. But the jam didn’t yield, and it became apparent we were going to be parked in place for some time to come.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the country’s pell-mell pursuit of stock market highs, cute cat videos going viral and unprecedented expressions of self-indulgence to a sudden stop.
For some, ignoring the life and death consequences, the cessation of business as usual has scratched their skin raw and led them to devising every possible way – however devious – to get back on the highway.
For others, waiting for the light to turn green can lead to an option diametrically opposite, an opportunity to pause and ask, do I want to live the rest of my life as a mad dash?
That is the big question. And here is the interrogation that must take place before you address it.
Can status and wealth fulfill you if your pursuit of it totally preoccupies you? Surely, the Dow Jones pushing 30,000 cannot be the index that defines happiness. There are men and women of enormous wealth who bemoan their lives and those who labor for minimal wage who glow with joy.
Are you “living an act,” counting Facebook ‘Likes’ to appear to be the type of person popularized by social pressure, rather than being faithful to your actual ethic and aesthetic? When did you “give in” and become someone you are not?
Have you looked honestly at the events of the past that reveal your less than admirable behavior and continue to cause you discomfort and emotional pain? Have you moved beyond berating yourself with “if only I had done this, tried that?” and instead, made amends, taken responsibility for your actions and completed the closure necessary to move forward with your life?
When you realize that the limits of the life you are resigned to, are self-imposed, what fears keep you from walking over the threshold to a life re-defined?
It’s best if this inquiry is held in front of a mirror. Look behind the reflection for the answers.