A wise little friend, we’ll call her the Yoda to my Obi-Wan, (not least because she’s vertically challenged but also because she speaks in poetic lyrics much like the grand master Yoda), recently dusted off a wise old adage:
“Some days you’re the bug, some days you’re the windshield” – (writer: various)
There are so many similar sayings, essentially informing you, rather matter-of-factly like an airhostess pointing out the emergency exits on a flight, that life’s journey will have its inescapable, turbulent ups and downs, but you’ll nearly always land firmly and safely back on the ground.
Once we grasp the inevitability of our human predicament we have two choices on how to view the bug days: we can either moan and complain about them, become lost within ourselves and host a pity party for one, or we can get up and assess the benefits and lessons that the bug taught us.
I went to see a favourite comedian of mine recently; Trevor Noah is the South African comedian extraordinaire, who took over from Jon Stewart in hosting “The Daily Show” in America. He recently published an autobiographical book entitled “Born a Crime” and he came to London to promote the book, for which I will do a review in due course. There at the event, he imparted a life lesson, which really stayed with me. I’m paraphrasing but essentially, he said this, “no matter what happens in life, good or bad, I never lose – I either win or I learn.” This is the philosophy of life by which we should all strive to live.
Sure, sometimes a kick in the guts is painful and it may take a (mammoth) minute for the pain to subside, the ‘Tweetie-pie’ birds circling your head to desist and clarity to return but return it does.
Life is not always how you want it to be. It’s what you make of it, how you choose to see things and how you choose to allow things to affect you. Every cloud has a silver lining; every dark day will come to pass and every trial or tribulation makes you stronger for life ahead. Setbacks prepare us for the road ahead, every missed or wrong turning teaches us more about our landscape and about the geography of our own identity.
As sure as day follows night, good and bad times come hand in hand. Without the bad times, we would not appreciate the good, our hearts would harden, and we’d become ungrateful and arrogant. It is in the bad times that we find our humility, sense of empathy and perspective for others who may find themselves in storms far rougher than our own.
Some days we get crushed by the circumstances and figurative storms that push their way into our lives and some days we can stand firm and strong like Everest in the face of anything that comes our way but I’ve come to realise that we can never become the latter unless we have endured the former. We can never become the windshield until we’ve borne a few bugs.
So here’s to our bug days, may they shape us for the better, teach us lessons that illuminate our souls, strengthen our character and help us to bring light, love and understanding all around us in compassionate human behaviour.