28 Dec

I am a space traveler. I have tried to figure out how fast this satellite is moving. It boggles the mind. Earth travels several billion miles every year in its orbit around the sun. The sun and solar system travel through the galaxy at an almost inconceivable speed as well. There is more. The Milky Way travels through the universe with the other galaxies too. The universe travels too?

We are all travelers on a journey without end. The nature of energy is that it’s always on the move. The light within every atom is in vibratory motion. What scientists believe is that all matter is relative to light. In other words, everything is a form of energy. And, as I pointed out, it is moving.

If there is one thing that should unite us, it is this: We are all traveling into the Great Unknown. And, we all fear the journey to varying degrees. The fact is that everything travels. This movement means everything has the capacity to collide. Everything crashes sooner or later. None of us get off this flight alive. It’s universal law.

I’m a flight attendant among many passengers. I am a passenger too, of course. My purpose is to make others comfortable during their journey. While serving others, I am cared for too. We are all part of this universal process.

Even though I care for others, the most important trust I have is to care for myself. In fact, my care for others can only be as good as my care for me. This agrees with the idea of The Golden Rule. “Do to others what you would wish they would do for you.” Do I wish someone to help me? Then, help them. A question I want to explore is what I wish others would do toward me. As a fellow traveler, I come up with ideas of how I can assist others. This takes mindful consideration of my own wants and needs.

Interstellar travel is fun and exciting but also frightening. There is no getting off this ride alive. One could decide to take an early exit, but most of us will fly to our destination. One thing is for sure, it can be a bumpy and uncomfortable experience. Suffering is universal, though I am thankful I am not aware of it all the time. Suffering does not have to be miserable. Suffering is inevitable, while misery is optional. Misery is from a dramatic story I tag on to my allotted share of suffering. It makes suffering intolerable. Pain caused by unavoidable circumstances produces suffering. Though most suffering is inescapable, I believe we can overcome misery. It can be avoided altogether.

Misery results from resistance to suffering. It is remarkable for its psychological and emotional angst. It has a strangling effect on life. It is amplified by excessive worry and complaint. These are products of fear. The compounding effect anxiety has on pain accentuates misery. It is suffering squared. Maybe this is what FDR was getting at when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fearing fear magnifies inevitable suffering into a bogey man of giant proportions. Fearing fear often kills faster than the killer.

So, the main discomfort on this flight is the fear of departure and arrival. As a flight attendant, I understand. I try to give comfort by making sure refreshments are always available along the way. I’m ready for whatever my fellow passengers may want or need. The only limit to this is my own self-care. I have to refresh myself first before I can help anyone else. I am not advocating crass selfishness, but rather a healthy self-interest. My attention to others is reflective of my own for me.

My job on this flight is to make the transition from departure to arrival easier. When there is turbulence, I try to allay fear and give comfort. I remind the passengers that the greatest Pilot is in control. There will be turbulence. I do not like it much either. It is what it is, and nothing more: turbulence. I encourage the passengers to fasten their seat belts. And, if necessary, brace for impact. I know it is coming. So do we all. We should all help each other get through this. Yet, whatever this is, I know one thing: A safe landing is ahead.

Limericist, 2012

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 28, 2020 in About Me, Essays, Memoir


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: