We muddle along, day in and day out, under some sort of strange assumption or perhaps expectation that nothing will really change in our lives. And then we get gob-smacked when something major happens: An accident or serious illness; the death of somebody close; the loss of a job…the list goes on. These things do happen. Sometimes you get fired. Eventually our parents are going to die. Accidents don’t always happen to the other guy.
I’ve seen plenty of examples of this. There is a certain psychological or emotional inertia at work that leaves some people unprepared for the little “surprises” that life can throw your way. And when it happens their whole world gets turned upside down.
This past summer that point was brought home most profoundly. We were all cruising along, flying our helicopters, drying our little cherry orchards and having a lot of fun. Monday, July 25th started out like every other day. Halfway through we learned that young Stephen had crashed and was killed. Nothing was the same for any of us after that. I won’t say that Stephen’s death did not affect me, because it did. But maybe not in the same way as the others. I’m sure some of them thought I was a cold-hearted, unfeeling sonovabitch.
For some time now, my philosophy has been that there is absolutely no guarantee that today is going to be anything like yesterday. It is foolish to expect it to be otherwise.
I’m not saying that we should walk around in a constant state of paranoia and fear, but we do need to understand and be emotionally prepared for the fact that as nice as yesterday was, today could be very, very different. And not necessarily in a bad way. Good things do happen too!