Life doesn’t give a shit.

Time doesn’t care about your well-constructed plan: it’s going to pass anyway.

Circumstances don’t take notice of personal agendas, and the universe won’t always care about your feelings.

Sometimes, hearts of gold become tarnished.

Sometimes, the muddiest souls are absolved.

There isn’t always an explanation: as the saying goes, shit has a funny way of happening.

All we can do – any of us, all of us – is control how we react to it. There are no guarantees in this thing: short of this very moment, strategic planning and best guesses and fair-weather predictions will be impacted by false hopes and failings and unexpected de-railings. Whether it’s physical health or emotional duress, financial stress or social unrest, Life doesn’t give a shit if you go to church every Sunday. It pays no mind to your gold stars or your straight A’s or your glowing references or top-notch performances. Life doesn’t worry about how much is on your plate: it won’t sense that you’re burdened; take a step back; and try again on a better day. Life simply doesn’t work that way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Life paid us back for all we pay forward? If it acknowledged our best efforts and our good intentions and made certain that bad things would never happen to the best people?

It’s not up to Life to give a shit…it’s up to us to care. We are responsible for picking one another up when the times are tough. And if we can’t lift that burden through mind or matter, it’s up to us to lie down beside the broken – even for just a short while – and prove that with humanity comes empathy.

It’s up to us to become the harbingers of change, turning hurdles into handlebars and ride along our chosen paths.

It’s up to us to feel those very scary things – a wrench in the gut; a stab in the back; the tearing of heartstrings and burden of mind – and while we suffer through them, acknowledge that their reality is, in fact, what makes us human. An existence free of suffering is impossible: we each have our own burdens – sometimes a physical wound; others, a deep inner mark. But the sooner we seek understanding of our own personal battle, the more likely we are to understand the plight of another.

It’s up to us to stop planning so damn much, and start living a little bit more. For goodness’ sake, nobody’s Life turns out as expected! We were built to be a window, not a reflection. Look at what’s in front of you today, and stop gazing into your doubts of yesterday. When winter comes, we’re all going to wish we had taken a moment to sniff the springtime roses.

Life doesn’t give a shit if you’re a prince or a pauper. Life doesn’t care if you wear diamonds or dust. Life doesn’t mind if you eat dessert for dinner, and it won’t praise you for flossing your teeth every night. Life doesn’t know if you’re living to your fullest potential, or flying way down under the radar.

Life’s job is not to make us feel entitled or respected or admired. Life’s role is not to pass along regards to your mother or tell you how great you look in the color blue. Life’s purpose isn’t to make you feel better about really shitty circumstances.

That’s…up…to…us.

So please – forgive me if I seem to ignore the power of karma or the Golden Rule or the mysteries of the universe. While energy constantly flows around us, it does not tell us how to act and react. Life is not a checklist of excuses. Life is a vessel by which we have the power to impact one another. Life is the blank page, and we are its story. Life isn’t the problem, and life isn’t the solution. Life isn’t luck, and Life isn’t destiny. Life is the dash between years on a headstone in a cold graveyard: we punctuate that tiny little line with meaning.

Life doesn’t give a shit. Life doesn’t have to.

So let’s be a little kinder. Let’s work a little harder. Let’s help when others hurt and let’s shout when it’s time to be heard. Let’s quit pointing fingers at Life and understand the circumstances. Let’s walk more than one measly mile in each other’s shoes. Let’s agree to disagree and do so with civility. Let’s stand united and lead with integrity and stop blaming Life for the times that we beat the human out of humanity. Everyone is suffering. Everyone is struggling. But hopefully, everyone is also smiling and laughing and loving.

Life doesn’t offer its services, thoughts, or opinions. Life doesn’t hand you a gun and ask you to pull the trigger. Life doesn’t console you or encourage you or tuck you in at night. Life doesn’t lead to war-torn or violence-filled or bullet-ridden.

That’s all on us…every single one of us. Prim and proper. Murky and messy. Cold blood. Warm hearts. Everybody.

Why wait for Life to notice? Why plead with Life to care? Stop bringing Life to the bargaining table: it’s a negotiation we’ll always lose. Let’s give a shit about one another. Let’s hold each other accountable for our actions. Let’s make the person more important than the plan. Princes. Paupers. Diamonds. Dust. Life never knows the difference, anyway.

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