No guarantee

Knowing that there is no guarantee of eternal sunshine might reasonably encourage a lackadaisical approach to life. One may at least rest more confidently without especial concern for the outcome.  Any way you look at it, the result of one’s efforts has no guarantee of success.

Adopting a haphazard corridor to life is certainly within the realm of lottery success. I cannot say that I have any other plan to contradict that particular scheme.  Nor is my reluctance to do so prompted merely by a generous hesitancy; rather, the record of road, sea or air passage is littered with contradictions and surprises, some good, some bad, many mundane. Once again, no guarantee.

What we do in the meantime – that is, while awaiting the unrestrained evolution of life – is a matter of moderate deliberation.  But one mustn’t deceive oneself to assume that in this universe there is any set course. How often has one heard of those who were initially determined upon one particular path only to discover abruptly it was an error, that the reverse of what was intended was in fact the proper choice of pursuit?  The answer naturally is that the roadside is fraught with casualties.

Perhaps I should be more magnanimous about these shifts of direction.  It isn’t after all the result of deliberate mean-spiritedness or selfishness; however, the taint of reluctance I have stems from the perception that very often people are persuaded to act contrary to their druthers. This is a subject upon which I have lately dilated; namely, the value of listening to one’s instincts. I am one of those who was lucky enough to have had parents who did not actively interfere in my progress in life though I know there were times when they dearly wished to do so. I suppose they recognized that to force me to do otherwise was either improper or inappropriate.  As an example, when I entered undergraduate studies at Glendon Hall my father was visibly disturbed that I proposed to major in philosophy as opposed to economics.  His succinct response continues to echo in my mind.  He said, “Well, it’s your bed.  You make it.  You sleep in it!”  No doubt it also disturbed him that I was unmoved by his backhanded direction.  As it turned out, when I graduated from Glendon Hall, I too doubted the utility of having majored in philosophy.  I mean, what does one do with a philosophy degree?  The fortuity was however not far around the corner.  Upon arriving at law school I quickly discovered that the study of logic and inductive reasoning was a palpable asset in the study of law. Now I won’t for a minute take any credit for this chance design but it does nonetheless illustrate what I have said about no guarantee.

The lack of assurance of fulfillment is for some a licence to misbehave; a course of conduct to avoid having to address other more critical issues. The contrast between warranty and underwriting continues to be a dynamic; that is, in case of default there is a price to be paid.  Similarly adopting what is essentially only a risk has no guarantee of outcome other than based upon one’s own review of experience to date. Remember however that the best laid plans, etc.  Life is notwithstanding its appearance of repetition an extremely complicated and varied path upon which to travel.

Not unexpectedly a common topic of interest to those of us approaching the end of life is to look back upon what has transpired in spite of our efforts, in spite of the bumps along the way, in spite of not having done this or that. It is naturally utterly superfluous to attach anything but the most modest degree of cerebration to what luck we did or did not have. We hadn’t likely anything more than a guess at what would happen. What this qualification evokes within me is not disparity rather gratitude. I am encouraged by the rampant events of life to marvel at what took place. Admittedly from the seat of distance one has with age, the view may be partially muted or coloured depending upon the weather or one’s health.  Overall however I am pleased to report that in keeping with my customary smugness, and notwithstanding the irreconcilable state of affairs, I have no regrets.