We can’t get there on our own.
We are social creatures. We need each other. We need to help people and someone in turn needs to help us. This is how things are. This is how things are meant to be. We are part of a masterful design, a preordained drama.
Although we feel alone and isolated at times. Unsatisfied and fraught with the reality of being human. We have always been wanted. We have always been loved.
Our mother carried us inside her womb, and after that, she was never that far away either. With supersonic hearing, she always managed to respond to our cry for help, no matter how tired, and sleepless she may have been.
Our father was never too far away either. Always nearby, to tickle our feet, hold us, to make us laugh, and inspire a giggle.
Perhaps this wasn’t your life.
Perhaps you don’t know neither of these people. Perhaps your biological parents were too young, or were too drunk, or even mean sons of bitches. I accept the fact that this is indeed a rough way to begin a life, but I hope a part of you is open to the idea that this is not the whole story.
Someone always steps up. If you look back, you will see them. It’s usually a grandparent, or an older brother or sister, an aunt, a stepfather, or a stepmother. Perhaps it was an adoptive parent. No matter. There was someone.
Someone embraced your early and adolescent mess, and rowed with you across the river, to the other side. The baggage you carry today however, is your own choice and you’re your responsibility.
It is time to grow up, take the helm, and begin to row other people across the lake. I was going to say ocean, but that kind of voyage should be reserved for only a few, as the ocean is one big puddle, if you know your geography.
We are all connected. We are resilient and can overcome anything. We can get healthy, or stay healthy, if we are fervent in our deep desire to stay connected.
We need to connect to others. We need to help other people. By helping friends and strangers, we are going to help ourselves.
When you help your daughter with her homework, when you play soccer baseball with your son, when you do the dishes after dinner, when you help your friend move, or listen to the tears of a broken heart; you will inevitably take them on a journey.
As human beings, we have the capacity to help strangers, by simply sharing our lives with them. We can help tourists find their way. We can help immigrants feel welcome. We can even give young mothers a break by helping them catch their breath or get some sleep.
We can help people if we stop judging. Stop insisting. Stop pontificating. Raving. Raging. Yelling, and screaming.
We can use the time we have, to gather people together on our little rowboat, and guide them safely across the turbulent waters.
We are the perfect riverboat captains. We have sailed the tempestuous sea, over, and over again. We have such great power inside all of us, yet it is such a shame, that many of our boats are so often tied up to the dock. They fail to sail. We fail to live.
There are two magnificent things that happen when we decide to row people across the water.
First, they will gaze at life from the other side. They will see things they have never understood and felt before. They will have an opportunity to plant their feet on solid ground.
Second, we will learn from the experience, and that is not an insignificant accomplishment. We must see life from the other side, as well. We need to observe and understand people, but we have a duty to also understand ourselves. We need to meet people where they are, and by helping them, discover who we are becoming.
When we row a person across the ocean, we help them, and in turn we help ourselves.
If you’re a grandmother, keep raising those grandbabies. If you have made grave mistakes in your life, continue the path of reconciliation, because your redeemed life is a beacon of hope to others.
If you raise bees, teach others, and make some delicious honey. Raise awareness. Sweeten up this place.
If you’re an artist who painting her portraits with tears and hope, never, ever stop, because your brush strokes have become a solid foundation that has never been built before.
So, let’s get in our little rowboats together, as a tribe, and let us look for someone that needs to reach the other side.
There are far too many planes that never take flight, countless exotic cars that remain tarped and nestled inside a dusty garage, and there are simply way too many row boats, who simply rot and take on water, because they refuse to leave the comfort of the shore.
Let’s heed the cry of the ancient philosophical muses.
Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.