I overheard a young boy and his mother conversing on the airplane the other day. The sun was hitting the wing, shooting blinding rays through the small window and causing the little one to screech that he couldn’t see.
“I can’t move the sun,” his mother wearily replied.
Such an obvious observation, yet how many of us invest a significant chunk of precious life trying to alter that which cannot be changed?
The passenger sitting by the window politely closed the shade, which triggered more questions. Does turning a blind eye on our issues make for a lighter load or do we exasperate the burdens by sweeping them beneath an already bulky rug?
Are we defined by our personal heritage, with every fear and doubt ever planted by a parent/friend/lover/acquaintance building like a rip current throughout our cells, capable of dragging us beneath raging seas? Is it pompous to think we can sort through the contents of our hearts, discarding the painful parts at our leisure?
In my optimistic moments, I spy a lifeboat waiting to whisk me away from every last problem. At other times, I worry the past is inescapably entrenched in each of us — no different from the air we breathe, spilling without conscious thought onto the face of every new encounter.
Perhaps there is a middle ground. One where we pull the shade halfway, sparing ourselves the retina burn while still harnessing the sun’s energy, helping us move forward — a little brighter each time.