Almost nothing goes according to plan.
In the penultimate stanza of the 1785 poem by Scottish poet and lyricist Rabbie Burns, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough” the bard cries:
But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes of mice and men Go oft awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
or promised joy!
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” is a proverbial expression used today to signify the futility of making detailed plans when the ability to follow them is uncertain at best. King Solomon equally bemoaned man’s lot:
“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun,
and have found them all to be futile,
a pursuit of the wind.”
Our lives are not lived in a linear, clear, and tidy manner, but rather as a series of adjustments to the circumstances that we find ourselves in. Every strategy, plan, map or thought of the future we may envision, the chances of a problem-free execution with a perfect outcome, are rare.
Accepting that life is unpredictable and that we’re not in control of our destiny, can be unsettling. Or it can be enlightening. Who you are right now is all you have complete control over. Your role in helping to predict the future is to make the present better. You have a powerful responsibility for the duration of your stay here on earth.
So many people are chasing a polished, neat, and tidy life. A life with no suffering, no heartache, no sorrow, no despair. That’s not life. That’s a waste of a life.
But be warned. “Being present” is not easy, it’s messy. You need only look at how few folks are prepared to act while the majority prefer to look on from a distance. Getting involved takes courage. It is an act of bravery and kindness.
It takes guts.
Already a month into 2021 and our resolve is being tested. The duration of the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences remain a harsh reality we thought we could leave behind in 2020. But the suffering continues. People are tired, frayed, and afraid. For the underprivileged in South Africa, the situation is dire.
It is time to be present.
Get dirty, get messy.
Ask yourself what you can do for someone who is suffering right now? Don’t underestimate the power you have to make a difference in someone’s life. You can do so much with so little. Make eye contact and smile. Take the time to ask how they are doing and listen carefully to their response.
You have so much to be thankful for—so much you can offer. Cherish the life you have been given by being kind and caring to those who are suffering. The world needs you to.
HT – Rudi Swanepoel
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏