Thursday, December 22, 2022

Broken Promises

How many times have you said, “In the face of what’s happening to others, I will never complain about this again!”? We read a book like What Is the What or any truth-telling account of the brutality of American slavery (like my current read Caste) or simply dip into the news and are awakened to how care-free and blessed our life is by comparison. How so many things we make a big deal of— like me furious yesterday that the bank Versatel machine swallowed a check that it neither returned nor credited to my account and I had to spend over an hour sorting it out— are so small in the face of the way Life puts its foot firmly on people’s neck and keeps pressing down without relenting. We are upset that we got a cold and then hear of a dear friend diagnosed with cancer or Parkinson’s. 


And so we vow to be more compassionate, more grateful for each moment spared life’s horrors, less outraged by life’s small transgressions. And we mean it. At least until the next annoyance comes along and all our good intentions are thrown out the window.


Take my earlier blog “Heater Wars.” Here I am,  grumpy about the cold 40 degree weather in San Francisco, while friends in Minneapolis today face minus 7 degree weather, in Denver, minus 14, in Edmonton, minus 24! And one prediction in northern Minnesota was -59! The mind boggles. My 40 degree discomfort is literally almost 100 degrees warmer!!


So I promise I won’t complain again about San Francisco’s freezing weather. At least until it hits 35.

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