f there's one certainty in life, it's that planning it all out is impossible. Sure, we do our best to anticipate different tricky situations and map out the dos and don'ts, should they arise. But a lot of times, just when we think we have everything under control, life rips the rug out from underneath us.
Sometimes those difficult or inconvenient circumstances end up pulling other people into our orbit as well.
Kate McClure is a woman whose own unpleasant experience connected her to an even worse one a complete stranger was going through. But through mutual acts of selflessness, both Kate and her rescuer found that, often, it's the kindness of our fellow humans that pulls us through the worst of times.
For human beings, life is a giant, unwritten story.
We can sit around and debate about the meaning of life all day, but most of us agree that it’s made up largely of unknowns. None of us can see the future, so we’re forced to live in the moment, making the best of things and enjoying the time we have with family, friends, and co-workers. Worry is like a rocking chair, they say. It gives us something to do, but gets us nowhere.
Still, we try to plan for those situations when things go awry.
Because life is such a mystery in so many ways, the only thing we’re completely certain of is that there is no certainty. So we do our best to minimize risk and plan as much as possible for unforeseen circumstances. Setting up 401Ks, buying insurance, and stocking up on groceries all give us a bit of mental peace that, at least to some degree, we can get a head start on some things.
But the problem with planning is, sometimes, it gives only us the illusion of control.
Occasionally, we get so caught up in mapping out all the different aspects of our life, it gives a us a sense of control where there isn’t one. It’s those times that life seems to creep up behind us and less-than-ideal situations rear their heads. Suddenly, we’re having to recalculate our plans and cope with things we’d rather not.
Ultimately, it all comes down to how we respond to bad luck.
Unpleasant situations eventually find all of us, making it less of a question of “if” than “when?” So the most important thing we can do, when faced with a tricky or terrible circumstance, is learn to deal with it as rationally and bravely as possible. The less we panic and the more we try and weather the storm with our chin up, the better off things tend to go.
However, we can only weather so much by ourselves.
While it’s true that our attitudes and bravery in awful situations are important, the other half of forging through bad times is having good people to lean on. No person is meant to be an island, and being surrounded by friends, family, or even helpful strangers can make all the difference in the world.