Life Raft


Bobbing and sinking

Sea of Life can pummel you down

Work on your life raft


You can only tread water for a little bit, then you sink. This is your fate when you are miles out at sea and no land is in sight.

Your body density is close to water density. So you bob up and down for a while. You may be fat or you may be thin; you may be a woman or a man; you may know swimming or you may not. It does not matter, most of the time it ends the same way- you sink. A big wave can take you down or you may get tired. Your will gives out or your body does. It is the end even though you had so much potential. The sea doesn’t care.

But maybe there are a few beach balls floating near you among the sea weed. Some are large and some are small; some are full and some are half-empty; some are close to you and some are far. It does not matter, they can all help. One is not enough but there are enough. You use your strength and pull them together, one at a time. You blow up the half-empty ones if possible. You use some of the sea weed and tie them all together. You gather enough of them and make them into a crude life raft. You pull your tired body on to it. At last you are out of the water. You are not cold and your spirit comes back. You are ready to give the sea a good big fight; the fight of your life. Now more than likely you have given yourself enough time to find land or for some rescuers to find you. Great! Weren’t you lucky?

If only you knew you were going to be adrift in the sea in this fashion. You would be out there throwing as many beach balls as you can into the sea. You would be blowing them up as full of air as they can be.

Well, real life is a lot like that. You are trying to lead a full happy and productive life. But it is really not that easy. You may be smart or dumb; you may be beautiful or ugly; you may be rich or poor. It does not matter, life is still hard. You could slip in the bathroom, hit your head and kill a part of your brain. You find your spouse is happier in another set of arms. You have a disease that medicine has not figured out yet. Life is still hard and you have to get through it to fulfill your potential.

But there are some beach balls in your life! Your friends, parents, good education, some special talents and skills, siblings, good health insurance, a job or business, your divorced spouse, children, a good social safety net in your country, a strong network of acquaintances, some extra languages, savings, some investments, your neighbors. Yes, these are the beach balls of your life. They are different colors and different sizes. Some are full, some are deflated and some are completely empty. But they are your life raft. They will carry you through life. Look for them and add them to your life. Blow them up so they are full and ready. Tend them carefully.

Because when the time comes, these beach balls will make up your life raft. They will carry you through the sea of life and let you have a chance to get to the wonderful shore that you crave.

And don’t forget; you are the beach ball in someone else’s raft.