I tend to live my life asking a very important question-well, important to me. I am not sure if it is important to anyone but me as I cannot control if it is or not. It only has to do with me so it doesn't matter anyway. The question?
Can I live with this?
It is an all encompassing question and it refers to my reaction or lack of action in everything I do. Can I live with it-my choice? What I put out there in the world, what I say to someone, how I respond to every good thing and bad thing that I encounter. Can I live with it?
See, I have the perfect question-I just don't have the perfect answer. I am not always ultimately sure what I can or can't live with. If every decision I had to make was only based on how I felt, what I wanted, what I needed and where I wanted to go, it would be easy. But most of us do not live a singular existence. We are connected. Every single thing we do or say affects someone else. Can I live with it?
I think I worry about this question a lot. Can I live with choosing for me when it affects every person I come in contact with? Sometimes I can't. Sometimes I can. And sometimes I just hold my breath hoping the decisions I make do not destroy anyone or anything else in the process.
I think we spend too much time thinking we do not count or what we do, or say, think or feel-doesn't matter in the world. It does. We are constantly interconnected even when we think we are alone in the world. We are never truly alone…ever. We matter. All of us matter.
It is the ripple effect of throwing stones into the water. Our lives, our reactions, our actions, our words and deeds are our "stones" thrown out into the universe. We may never see the actual splash they make. We may never see every ripple that springs up into the world, but they are there. And it keeps moving and expanding and growing in one way or another.
It's a frightening thought when I examine it too closely. Yet, it is also what keeps me honest when I don't want to be. It is the reason I have learned the fine art of biting my tongue when so many times I would much rather spew out atrocities. Before I utter something mean and hateful, I ask myself, "Can I live with this?" knowing whatever I say may set off a horrendous chain reaction. It has taught me to temper vile words. It has also caused me to be able to speak out when I feel there is no choice. I ask myself the same question when I consider doing nothing, "Can I live with this?" and I attempt to see how my lack of words may affect what happens next.
I may not always make the best decisions. None of us are perfect. We can only do what we can live with.
Monika M. Basile