Sunday, May 3, 2009

Life's games~

Erring on the side of caution seems reasonable. I've certainly followed the axiom now and then through the years.

I've looked before I've leaped; I've double-checked; I've played it safe rather than sorry.

I've also taken chances, risks--reasonable ones. Can you live without taking risks? Should you?

Along the line of acting cautiously in regards to the swine flu, the Center for Disease Control has placed the country at Level 5: continue with daily lives but take precautions. Wash hands. Check out symptoms. Don't panic

Common sense. I've done that for years. Especially the "continue with daily life" part.

There is a considerable amount of media hype and comment from our leaders--both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi said they'd keep their families from traveling--that sends a message of fear. I don’t mean to make light of a potentially serious situation. Yes, it's better to be cautious where the flu is concerned, but there is such a thing as over reacting in fear.

My hairdresser has two plane trips coming up next month: one across the country to California, and one across the Atlantic to France. She had been excited, anticipating the time away. But now the swine flu has put a damper on that. She's worried, and might change her plans.

But think of this, I told her, "Suppose you stay home and catch the flu from someone here. And if you’d gone you wouldn't have."

It isn't really about the flu; it's about thinking we can control what happens to us. If we stay home we'll be safe, we think. But not necessarily, because bottom line, we have so little control. We play life like it's a game of chess, but sometimes it's a crapshoot. Life has plans. We get dragged along.

I finished reading Life Lists for a review next month in the Internet Review of Books. It was a biography of the famous birder, Phoebe Snetsinger, who was diagnosed with melanoma and given a year to live. She determined to pack that year full--no more playing it safe for Phoebe. Her cancer went into remission, then reappeared . . . several times. Twenty-five-years after her "death date," she died. Not from cancer.

So what am I saying?

Wash your hands. Stay away from people if you feel ill (and why weren't you doing this anyway?) Take precautions. Don't panic.

But mostly, continue with your daily life.


Rozel said...

Amen sista'!

sc morgan said...

Appointment in Samara comes to mind. I hope your friend goes to France, even if she has to wear a mask on the plane!

Pauline said...

Such a sensible point of view - I like the idea of life dragging me along. Sometimes I go willingly, sometimes I'm dragging my feet but the ride is always there...

Tere said...

Oh my gosh, you said this beautifully! I have spent the day with people who are continuing to over-react to basically nothing and I have had it. Your words were just what I needed to hear and wish I could have said.

Janice Thomson said...

I so agree with you. We have more chance of being hit by a car than catching the flu but it doesn't stop us from driving or walking down the street.

Laurel Marshfield said...

...what a timely and wonderful post filled with memorable phrases! Thanks so much, Ruth.

(And the animal chess game was cheerful,too.)

Belladonna said...

Well said!

I've been talking with a friend lately about how much certain outcomes may be "meant to be" and how much life may just be a random crap shoot. I'm incredibly ambivalent on this issue. But this is what I know for sure - WE are not in control.

When to carefully consider and plan and when to impulsively jump in? Don't know.

But I love this post.

Alice Folkart said...

Good Ruth - I agree, reasonable practices (not even precautions)and live life to the fullest. After all, the Marx Brothers could drop a Grand Piano on us from the roof of a tenement any time.

Hope that your hair dresser goes ahead with her plans!


Wanda said...

Oh Ruth ~~ This is such a wonderful post, and advice for life.

Wish I had two plane tickets.... I'd leave tomorrow.

So true we control so little.. that's why one of my favorite quotes is "God is the Blessed Controller of all things, He had designed my portion and my lot is secure"

Ruth you are always an inspiration!

Love and Hugs

Bob Sanchez said...

We can take no chances and die of boredom. We can live in fear and die of worry.

Your comments are wise, Ruth. Common sense and reasonable care may not save us, but they tilt the odds in our favor for a while.