Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Life Is Random

My friend’s taste in sex is very vanilla, and his sexual history can clearly be classified as low-risk; yet he tested positive for HIV. Meanwhile I’ve had multiple partners, engaged in unprotected sex many times before (in an era where it was known as “AIDS” more than “HIV” and the virus was considered “a white man’s disease”), and yet in my second test I came out non-reactive. Life is unfair.

Yet for every injustice, there is that honest cab driver who would rather return a bagful of money to its rightful owner than keep it to feed his family. There is a multi-millionaire who pledged to give away half of his wealth over the course of his lifetime. Life is just, it seems.

Life is filled with random acts of kindness as well as random acts of cruelty. For every deliberate, well-executed plan there are, as Robert Burns says, “the best-laid plans of mice and men (that) oft go awry.” For all of Life’s randomness, there seems to be that yin-yang quality of the Universe, that for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And maybe that is why we can never have Good without the Bad. Heaven cannot exist without its dark reflection, Hell. Hope blooms more brightly in a desert of despair.

We all have a choice which side we want to eventually fall under. Of course, making a choice is different from actually making good on that choice. In reality, we ping-pong from one side to the other; sometimes we even straddle both sides at the same time. But the side in which you prefer to stay on is what will eventually define who you are, and whether people will remember you as a “good” or “bad” person.

In the end it boils down to choice. And choice should never be random.

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Erratum: When I first posted this, I mistakenly mentioned John Steinbeck as the author of the "of mice and men" quote. The author is Robert Burns, and the line is from his poem "To A Mouse." John Steinbeck used the phrase as the title of his novel.


Fickle Cattle said...

I really like this post.

~Carrie~ said...

You see it as the Universe's way of "equilibrizing". I see it as ironic. I share the same sentiments with you, when you said life is unfair. But in my life, I guess my luck at being clean compensates for the other shortcomings, if not misfortunes, in the other aspects of my life. I think that's fair enough.