CHARLOTTE, NC, December 3, 2017 – Living with ALS erases your sense of physical security. It is easy to forget that simple tasks are no longer feasible without great difficulty or assistance. Things like reaching for the television remote, scratching an itch in a now inaccessible place, trying to reach a light switch that is suddenly too high or adding cream and sugar to your coffee.
Words of Yogi Berra
Words say that “life is a journey.” Or, as former New York Yankees catcher and home-spun philosopher, Yogi Berra, says:
“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Spanish writer, poet, and novelist George Santanya wrote,
“There is no cure for birth or death except to enjoy the interval.”
For myself I have always found solace in the words of others. Never waste a good quote for they are frequently little insightful gems that we personally believe but do not possess the skills to express.
Words from friends
Last week an email from a friend included something she learned from her father and that she has continued to experience on many occasions over the years. The gist of the story lies in the context of historical decisions that have had the cumulative effect of producing disastrous results.
Whichever diplomatic fiasco it was, there was little relevance to the story other than to provide the catalyst for it.
Historically, though the original intentions may have been determined to create a positive conclusion about a matter of diplomacy. One bad decision leads to another, followed by another until the miscalculations piled on top of each other to establish an undesired result.
It’s a tale with which we have become all too familiar in our 21st-century lives.
Good vs. Bad intentions
The point being that these so-called “experts” continuously justify “good” intentions with “bad” decisions, inevitably arriving at a disastrous conclusion.
It was not the original idea that was wrong, so much as it was the terrible decisions after the concepts were implemented that doomed them.
No matter how hard we may try to control the final outcome of something, the end result is generally not controllable. Therefore, all a person can strive for is to do the best he or she can at any given time and hope that the final legacy is one of accomplishment for the good.
Living with the hand we are dealt
We cannot control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can adapt to them. We can throw them in and give up or we can play them using the best strategy possible to arrive at the desired result.
Simply put, again through the wit and wisdom of Yogi Berra:
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
Author and humorist Robert Byrne often twisted philosophical thoughts in an interesting manner, but the idea that a “purposeful life is a life of purpose” hits the nail on the head.
Each of us has the choice to select the path we take on this journey called “life.”
Choosing your fork in the road
As Yogi Berra noted, there will be “forks” but if you take them and incorporate whatever experience results, for good or for bad, in the end, you, too, will develop that same sage acumen as my friend’s father.
Life is a series of decisions; What should I wear? What do I want for breakfast? Should we go to a movie or the football game? Most of the time such choices pass through the carrousel of our lives as naturally as breathing. Sometimes, however, they become more difficult.
How we cope with those challenges is truly part of the “journey.”
Singer, actress and comedian Sophie Tucker who was affectionately known as “the last of the red-hot mamas” summed it up in two words when she said, “Keep breathing.”
And, who else but dear old Yogi should have the last word?
“The future ain’t what it used to be.”
You see, the journey is all about that path.
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up