Why Bother?

"At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe."

The central park in a big city is a fine place to get a get a snapshot of people’s lives in action. To make a guess at what they have planned and what their dreams may be. Here one is steadfastly knitting while another is twiddling with a pencil making artistic strokes appearing to have a look of optimistic hope that things will soon get better. A marriage proposal sets off whoops of joy and an onlooker is resting on a wall having just gone outside to get some fresh air. They have taken a breather to take in the enormity of what they have discovered. Having worked so hard and for such a long time it all now seems such a good gamble. You do need to look far to see people making headway.

I am close enough to overhear a conversation between two girls that appear to have just left high school. This is roughly what I garnered or maybe I just made it all up.

“Isn’t it great... No more exams.”

“Just a leaving party and we won’t be seeing that school anymore.”

“A bit sad in a way, somethings we will miss.”

“New shoes? What was wrong with the old ones?”

“Oh, a bit scuffed and I saw these reduced in the shop this morning.”

“Are you getting your hair done for the big night?”

“Of course, and I have been promised a whole new outfit. I deserve it after all that work over the last couple of years.”

“Dad was showing me those horrid photos of when we were young, cringe worthy, I gave him that look and he relented.”

“Did you hear about my mum?”

“No.”

“She was stuck on a train for hours yesterday. Apparently, someone jumped in front of it and it was held up for ages. Something about having to find the head and get it bagged up.”

“Crikey, what a shame, poor soul must have been pretty down and desperate.”

“Yes, such a shame, she didn’t think it was appropriate to grumble, but there were a few people on the train that were moaning. One was irate as they had a flight to catch and was real worried about missing it. They were going on about how they had booked time off work and wouldn’t get another opportunity for a good while, not to mention the financial cost.”

“Well the chap split in two won’t be getting a holiday for a while either.”

“There is so much in life to do, so sad, stupid to just give up like that, but I suppose you never really know what is going on inside other peoples’ heads.”

“You know, when we were in the Far East we saw a sign at the station that said no jumping during rush hour.”

“Crazy, some giving up and my dad is battling an illness. He wants to finish his screenplay and wants to enter that golfing competition. So busy and then this operation. He is lucky that technology has come a long way and the operation is so much easier now, much less discomfort. He wasn’t put to sleep, had it done wide awake. He reckons that the side effects were minimal, although there were some pretty odd sensations whilst it was being carried out.”

“That’s great to hear. I do think though, whilst he is having that done other people are dealing with their own problems. It is bizarre, each in our own little world, all going on night and day.”

“I suspect my cousin is just getting up now; he is half way around the world on a work placement.”

“Yep, people everywhere, some playing bingo, some fishing for pearls in the blue waters, some making love!”

“So Joanne, what about you. Have you decided on whether you are going to university?”

“I am. Not sure which one yet and there are a few course options to choose from, will decide next week.”

Joanne flicked her hair back and felt something sharp on her neck. A small knife terminates all those plans. Due to incompetence, due to a desire to be fair to everyone and not placing the risk to innocents at the top of the agenda, a person with mental health problems is on the loose and has now attacked and killed this fragile irreplaceable young beauty. In their prime. A future partner not to be. What she would have done in her life, what she may or may not have achieved, no one will ever know. Only we and those that knew her can imagine.

What is it all about, why do we bother? It won’t happen to me so not a great concern. Look at the statistics, these kinds of things are rare. Yet all the work done, all the forming of that child was to be just a happy childhood and no more.

There are a lot of people excited about upcoming events. Where do all these people get their enthusiasm from? The odd few that are pondering about their insignificance are not down and depressed, far from it, they just hit a point in their life where they want to have a spell thinking. Whenever they ask others about such matters they get bland replies or some rhetoric that feels inadequate.

There is no doubt that there are always a lot of positive stories out there. Many give us inspiration and a sense of being pleased to be alive to witness such events happening. Maybe it is the last piece of a bridge laid in place linking two towns together, shortening the journey significantly between the two. Or a huge swathe of land marked out where no development or human encroachment will be allowed. Great news for those concerned with the imbalance of nature and progress. You may jump for joy when seeing your team go top of the league. There are plenty of turning points and days marked out with projects coming to fruition which bring elation and pleasure. Items galore to make things seem worthwhile and put some sense into the heart of being.

Most people are grabbing all they can from each and every day. Life is still pointless, but there must be a reason why we bother. We can be lifted by simple carnal pleasures such as making a fire in the great outdoors and dancing around it. It can all be about finding the loves of our lives. We have a choice of taking positive action or choosing to leave it to the will of something higher out of our control. There is so much to be enjoyed except in those rare places where clowns parade around preventing anything other than servility and submission, stopping you from doing what you want. We can travel to see for ourselves what is denied or what is only held back through lack of imagination.

Some people are sitting there waiting in the queue to pass into the ether, but for each one of those who have all but given up there are far more that are full of life, energy and hope to do as much as they can with their life.

We can see progress in our life, we can find great things to occupy our time. There can be some magical moments. We can ignore the ratio of good times to bad. We can forget about the grief required to have those jolly fun days. It may require a lot of effort for a brief period of satisfaction. Many hard-fought battles to spend moments in periods described close to paradise. A ratio of an hour of effort for such comparatively few minutes of bliss, maybe the journey to get there is the satisfying bit. Contrive a routine free of annoyances, reading, munching, bathing and debating nothing disagreeable. However, it is not hard to get yourself in a position where fun peaks and you yearn for new challenges with more stability and more sense of that rush of life running through your days. Round and round it goes all looking good until the sun comes up again, shedding light on the cracks ignored the night before. This circular rhythm of life is a thing of majesty, but on occasions we feel different in the cold light of day.


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