Unworthy of that gift?


Life doesn’t care how you react to it.  It’s up to you to care.  And sometimes you get a chance for something wonderful and it’s wholly up to you do accept it or reject it.  But be aware that if you choose to reject you may never have another chance at the same opportunity.

“Life sometimes offers you a chance, he thought, but when you are too cowardly or too indecisive to seize it life takes the cards away; there is a moment for doing things and entering a possible happiness, and this moment lasts a few days, sometimes a few weeks or even a few months, but it happens once and one time only, and if you want to return to it later it’s quite simply impossible. There’s no more place for enthusiasm, belief, and faith, and there remains just gentle resignation, a sad and reciprocal pity, the useless but correct sensation that something could have happened, that you just simply showed yourself unworthy of this gift you had been offered.”

– Michel Houellebecq, The Map and the Territory

Philosophers can argue for decades about whether there is profound truth in the words of Michel Houellebecq, but I have to tell you that everyday living has proven and re-proven these words a hundred times over — both in my own life, and in the lives of friends.  For somethings there is a single moment, a fleeting chance to grab that gold ring, or whatever it is you are reaching for — and when that moment passes it never returns again.

The thing is that each and every decision we makes changes us forever.  There’s a phrase I heard years ago that comes back to my mind from time to time, “Habit strips sin of it’s enormity” — which is just saying that the first time you lie, or steal, your conscience tells you that you did something bad, but the second time your inner voice isn’t nearly as loud, and by the 15th time you do the same thing you may not even hear a whisper. Good choices make future good choices easier.  Bad choices make badder choices possible. But no matter your history of decisions you can’t replicate circumstances, and sometimes the circumstance is everything.

I’m not going to beat this dog till it’s dead.  If you can hear the words let them make a change in you.  If you hear nothing, that’s fine too. road-not-taken