After checking out today’s writing challenge on WordPress, which is to discuss how expectations affect our daily lives, I began scrolling through previous posts to see if any of them might apply. I figured, if nothing else, perhaps it would help spark a new idea for me to write about. And then it happened.
I hear what sounds like a major collision between two cars right outside my office window. I gasp and leap from my seat, running to the window hoping my ears had deceived me. But behold, they had not. My eyes quickly laid sight on two cars, one dented in the front and one badly smashed in on the drivers side. People were flocking to the scene. I immediately grabbed the phone and dialed 911. My heart sank for the people in those cars, knowing that this is not what they had expected when they began their day.
And this happens all the time. Accidents happen all the time. They are a betrayal of our expectations. Witnessing a terrible accident always makes me feel grateful to be alive and to have my children close to me, safe and well. The thought of something horrific happening to me is terrifying because of what it would do to them. It would totally devastate them, just as I would fall apart if anything ever took them away from me. But really, this could happen at any moment in our lives, and I don’t necessarily have control over it. That’s the scariest part.
I know the people in those cars weren’t expecting to be pulled from their vehicle today and driven off to the hospital. I know they had plans and places they were headed to that have now been replaced with reality which defies all expectations, every time.
So what’s a person to do? When our expectations to live and to move about this world unharmed are met with a mad hard blow, what are we to make of things? When we lose people we love due to some unforeseen chain of events and eventual outcome, how do we recover? People are so accustomed to having choices, more than we can stand at times, but sometimes we aren’t granted any. The universe takes over; we become the victim of someone else’s decision making, or even our own. Whatever the reason may be, our lives are greatly affected and not in a way we had hoped or planned for.
This is the plight of serendipity. Every single choice we make, every small action we take, could be the one that leads to our demise. But I think, so long as our choices are made with positive intentions, so long as we take every opportunity to let our loved ones know how much we care, there’s really not much more we can do but simply hope for the best and be the kind of person we would want surrounding us if we were in crisis. Life doesn’t always seem to go our way. Bad things sometimes happen (to everyone). Expect the unexpected and take it as it comes. What other choice do we have?