I’ve read The Sun off and on for too many years to count. One of my favorite parts of the magazine is Sy Safransky’s Notebook, short notes about whatever crosses Sy’s mind. After reading it for all these years, I feel like I already know Sy, it’s almost like we’re friends, or could be if our paths crossed. This selection is a good example of the writing that resonates in me:
YES, WE’RE IN A RECESSION. But sooner or later each of us will lose something more important than our savings or our job. Will we have the resilience to deal with sudden illness or injury? With the death of a loved one? With any of the innumerable misfortunes life may have in store? I remind myself that every experience can be a teaching if I’m willing to see it that way; that suffering, too, can be a teaching. In fact, suffering usually gets the teacher-of-the-year award because I always sit up and pay attention when I’m in physical pain or when my heart has been broken or when I witness the anguish of someone I love. To honor the teaching doesn’t mean welcoming suffering with open arms, or looking for the silver lining of a tragedy with the kind of relentless optimism that denies painful feelings. I remind myself that blessings in disguise remain disguised until they’re good and ready to reveal themselves — and even then, the blessing might simply be that a particular setback has taught me to live more fully in the present, or deepened my compassion for others going through a similar difficulty, or underscored the paradox that we’re ultimately alone and inextricably bound to one another.