It’s a sunny morning today and I have been thinking about the concept of survival. There’s been a lot to survive these days, even more than we’re used to: Hurricane Sandy and the Nor-easter that just blew through here before we had a chance to get our snow tires on. The election with its omnipresent barrage of name-calling and finger-pointing. Now, fears of a fiscal cliff. It doesn’t seem as though the press is willing to let up for one second from pounding us into the ground with more things to worry about.
On a more personal level, there are many stories of survival as well. Those who lost their homes due to weather, but not their lives. Kevin Krim, the father of two slain children in New York, who spoke with courage and grace at a memorial service in Avery Fisher Hall to remember them with joy as well as to mourn them. Long lines of people waiting to vote, waiting to get gas, waiting for power, waiting for trains and busses. All of the folks who came from far and wide to help repair flooded infrastructure and to provide help for those in need.
There was an animated window on the New York Times website on election day which asked the reader to fill in one word that described the feeling you had on that day. Words like “hopeful,” “worried,” and “anxious” appeared. After some reflection, I typed in the word, “American,” because for all the ups and downs, disagreements and vicissitudes that we as a country have gone through and continue to endure, we survive for the most part to take on life with something to say for ourselves, another day.
Surviving used to be taken as a kind of consolation for having made it whether or not it was how you might have wanted life to be. Now, it seems to have moved more to the center and describes day-to-day life. Even so, it’s worth acknowledging and taking a moment to be grateful for all that we still have, don’t you think?