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Disease has no eyes

I think it was Sandra Cisneros that wrote that diseases have no eyes, they just pick and choose. Today 's news is about the death of Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor that became a spokesman for living despite his battle with pancreatic cancer through his last lecture. He was 47 with three little kids and I wonder why these things happen? How do diseases choose their victims? Why is the timing not convenient? What are we supposed to learn?
As I write this, a family is standing by as their mother also is dying from pancreatic cancer. She too will leave three children behind. Her children are not as young as his, one is a sophomore at Harvard, one will graduate from high school this year and one will be a high school freshman. Still, they are children too, her babies, and they will lose their mother soon. I had all the Carvalho children in my 8th grade English class and they were all brilliant and kind and positive. The influence of their parents, and the love and acceptance helped these kids grow to be this way. Emily, their mom, was at every school function, no matter how big or how small, always with the biggest smile and the most humble demeanor. Even when her oldest daughter was the valedictorian of the graduating class, she remained humble, stood in line with all the other families waiting to get in, made sure her ohana was together, greeted other parents with love and kindness. Diseases have no eyes. It doesn't look to see if it's the right time. It doesn't look at age, or accomplishments, or broken pieces that are left behind. What are we supposed to learn?
I think the lessons are obvious: live your best life, follow your dreams, appreciate your family, stay in touch. I think the arrogance of humans, our feeling of immortality in the face of mortality makes these lessons easy to accept and hard to execute. The philosophical versus the day-to-day grind of it all. How do we balance? What do we give up? How do we let go of the ego? (Yes, I listened to the podcasts on New Earth (?), Whole Earth? Whole Foods - Eckhart Tolle) How do we let go of the need to control? What do you know for sure?

Comments

Anonymous said…
Life is transient. Today someone is a living, breathing entity, tomorrow, a box of ashes and dried bones. A Buddhist view of how life can change. Who is to say what our destiny will be? Do we make it or do we lead it or do we follow it? That is much too much to understand. We live life peering at our future through a hole no larger than a pin prick.

Being a person of faith helps us to know that there is an omniscient entity who is looking out for us. The responsibility of life does not rest solely on our shoulders. There is some entity calling the shots and our goal is to listen, believe, and behave. Polish your soul, polish your soul. Eliminate the dark corners of your mind, heart, soul. Be a living mirror. Live for the good.
That is all we can do.
zuicy said…
Ah, yes. Saw the video, read his book. Read Tolle's too. Meanings, reasons - hmmm the eternal question. My take - we come here to learn. We choose who we'll be born to, what we'll experience and learn. As the previous commentator said, polish our souls. I've come to realize that by not judging, but just be-ing. As that immortal song says "let it be"... Not saying to ignore or disengage, but to just treasure be-ing, with those people & situations in our lives. Be it ugly, joyful, painful, beautiful, sad, euphoric - to savor each as it is.

It also helps to have belief in a greater power. That all has a purpose and is worthwhile in the big picture that we may never understand.

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