Life Is What It Is??? by Rabbi Philip Hammond, Ph.D.
LIFE IS WHAT IT IS - ??
FACING REALITY CAN BE DIFFICULT!
Debra and I had the painful experience of coming face to face with reality over this last week. It wasn’t as if it was something new or we hadn’t experienced it before, but none the less it was a difficult time. We had to go and visit Debra’s dad who is 92 years of age, and now resides in a nursing home. Sadly, he has a form of dementia and it is becoming more difficult to manage. He struggles to process the simple elements of life. This has brought a degree of management issues both for him and the staff of the facility. When he needs showering, he cannot process the reason for this need and becomes aggressive towards the staff. He has trouble eating because the messages from his brain are no longer functioning at a level that is required. These are sad and difficult realities.
We live over 11 hours drive away, so we do not get to visit very often. When we can take the opportunity to visit, his health issues and challenges are very evident. It is not easy to sit here and share such a personal experience, but at the same time not sharing changes nothing. Debra and I share this experience in a hope we may help others face some of the difficult realities in life. Compared to many challenges faced, this may not be difficult, yet we all have various challenges that are difficult to face. Unfortunately, we often witness people ignoring and denying these difficult realities in life. This course of action rarely leads to positive outcomes. If we ignore the hard realities of life, they will arrive regardless. As a friend of my dad [who is 99 years of age] once said, “Getting old is not the problem, it is what goes with it that sucks”. None the less if we live long enough the reality of old age and what goes with it will arrive on our door step.
However, the process of aging is not the only reality in life difficult to face. In this day and age there are countless issues people are avoiding, to the detriment of our societies. What is known as “political correctness” is slowly but surely destroying the thoughts and opinions of the more conservative values of our societies. The onset of “political correctness” is destroying our lives thus our societies. It would appear that Europe is falling apart largely due to the movement of “Political correctness”. Many nations in Europe are facing defining moments regarding their immediate future. Governments and their representatives refuse to call many criminal acts for what they are. These same “officials” seem more interested in excusing the criminal activities of young Islamists rather than protecting the law-abiding citizens of their own country. These are just some of the unpleasant facts we must face. Our world is changing rapidly and with it comes a change I for one do not embrace. Any change that distances the people from the instructions of HaShem will surely bring with it death. Sadly, many of these ills will cause tremendous suffering and pain before death. Like it or not sin [Lawlessness or rejection of Torah] brings sickness and death. When countries willingly trade the biblical foundations of Torah for other systems, then we can expect anarchy, heartache, confusion, and destruction.
If we live long enough we all get “old” and die. It is something we must face. However, we do not have to accept a world view and life style that will destroy our relationship with HaShem. We can choose to be faithful in our hearts and actions to HaShem, holding onto the greatest and only hope we have.
Darkness surrounds us at present and we are in desperate need of the Light of HaShem in our societies. Unfortunately, it appears we must face even greater moments of darkness and death before we experience Light and life. As individuals and small communities, we can choose Light and life now, but when we step out of these arenas we will be faced with the realities of a changing darkening world.
It is never pleasant to be wrong, but on this occasion, it would be a blessing. Regardless good advice is always good advice and may I advise all to call on HaShem and stay faithful to His instructions and wait with wonderful expectation for HaMoshiach.