I imagine a world where people do not shy away from ugly truths. They do not wallow in pity over life’s tragedies, but they do not paper over them and leave them to fester in their hearts.
They acknowledge life’s heartaches and set-backs with the same openness and acceptance as they celebrate joyous moments and achievements. In this parallel universe, people recognize life’s successes are necessarily balanced by life’s setbacks.
In our reality, not in my imagination:
- We celebrate marriage with public announcements, parties, and ceremony. Divorce happens quietly and alone. We are made to feel embarrassed and ashamed. Our grief is considered less significant. Our loss is called ‘voluntary.’ We may even be shunned in some religions.
- We celebrate babies’ births with gifts and announcements and pictures. We visit the new parents. We pretend stillbirths and miscarriages weren’t real children. We do not count them when people ask how many children we have. Friends struggle to comfort grieving parents.
- We celebrate the going away and coming back of those called to college or military service. We hide extended hospitalization for mental illness or incarceration for lawbreaking.
- We celebrate new jobs. We stay away from our friends if we’re unemployed for any length of time, and our friends do not seek us out. Prospective employers reject us simply because we’ve been unemployed for too long.
We live in a world that largely imagines success, achievement and happiness to be the norm. We cannot imagine struggle, failure or sadness as equally normal. I imagine a world where people do not shy away from ugly truths. They do not wallow in pity over life’s tragedies, but they do not paper over them and leave them to fester in their hearts.
Can you imagine what it would mean to you to live in my imaginary world?
This post is part of ‘5 Minute Friday’ – today, on the theme: Imagine