Once upon a time when I was hanging with my mother, we took notice of the once popular Shit Happens bumper sticker that was displayed on the back of some non-luxury vehicle. Mom proceeded to express her distaste with that particular slogan. I’m not sure what about it she found distasteful; whether it was the vulgarity of the expletive displayed publicly to fall upon the eyes of pious women and the young offspring born not of longshoremen, sailors, and auctioneers with Tourettes, or the cavalier pronouncement that unpleasant things befall us and we would do well to accept it, or the banality of the a working class expression never to be uttered by any member of the Bronte family.
Perhaps I should have had her elaborate on it when I saw her at lunch yesterday. What better time to broach the topic of excremental transpirings, no?
Personally I don’t mind the expression. However, I do find it weighs in favor of the perspective of the pessimists who insist on declaring themselves realists. After all, lottery winning happens, love happens, family reunions happen, trees happen, street magicians happen, and Yom Kippur happens. Basically something, everything, and anything happens.
It’s too bad so sad that people often focus on the shit. As much as I do applaud the existential declaration of the inevitability of events undesirable, it overlooks that pure raw power that is inherent with being geared up with the tool belt of free will that immediately follows each shit ladened circumstance.
We human beings spend a great amount of time attempting to hedge our bets against the whims of the Fates. We hope to stack the deck and insure ourselves in the event of a fire, theft, or act of God despite what is written on the policy of That’s The Way Life Goes. The truth is, we can’t crystal ball every event on the horizon. The bumper sticker is absolutely right in its working class style of broad spectrum prognostication. Shit has happened, it happens, and it is going to happen.
Rather than trying to stock our bug-out bag for every possible contingency, wouldn’t it serve us better to embrace the truth that roses spring from the manure that gets spread around their bases? We make checklists based on our fears of what we are afraid we cannot handle rather than lists based on our ability to endure adversity. How many episodes of tragedy, misfortune, and shit luck have we encountered only to rise from the septic tank stronger than ever?
The people who appear to have the best luck also tend to have the worst luck. The trick is, the circumstances blown in by the winds of fortune did not determine their outcomes. The knowledge that the choices they made from the moment following these events would be the true determining factor of their own fate.