Monday, September 8, 2014

Thought for The Day - Cracker Jack Surprise

A rectangular box about 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide, full of caramel corn and caramel covered peanuts. A cartoon image of a little boy in sailor blue and whites, smiling on the box. The snack itself was okay, but for a child, the joy was the surprise inside. And the way "life" goes, rarely was the surprise at the top of the box. I was never really sure if the manufacturer planned it that way or it settled to the bottom by the time you opened it, but there it was, wrapped in a wax wrapper! And what was it? A tiny toy, maybe a tiny book or a tiny doll. Not much in value, but to a child, the "gift" was worth the stuffed belly and possible tummy ache!

When it comes to waiting and anticipating, so much of life is that way. You work hard for 30 years or more and what awaits you on the other end of the rainbow? If it's a pot of gold, it's the type in the form of gold coins with cheap chocolate inside. Most retirees have to be concerned with stretching their income over an indefinite life span and juggle failing health, doctor visits and possible mistreatment by unfeeling, underpaid aids. Graduate from kindergarten, elementary school, high school and you get a piece of paper with your name on it and a date of graduation.

So what is life? What is the true value of it and it's reward? Why do we strive for recognition, applause and fame when the results are fleeting? Are we "wired" for minimal returns on so much effort? Well life is for the living and recognition and even fame is part of the journey. Along the way, life is to be savored. I dare say we should savor the "depths" and "dips" of life because there are lessons to be learned in the darkest days. Trophies, prizes, blue ribbons and banners are placed in places of prominence. They are reminders that we worked, we strived and we won. The monetary value of the prize is minimum, but the eternal benefit of remembering accomplishments...