It seems we have a lot on our plates these days. Most every conversation seems to be focused on the crisis events of the day. The list seems endless depending on your point of view, state of life or how you may feel or be personally affected.
Let's start with the high price of gasoline and heating fuel. Add to it, the lack of a more focused energy policy, conservation methods, and the effects of the devastating oils spill in the gulf.
How about the financial crises found in many local, state or federal governments, compounded by the frustration over how they choose to spend the taxes they collect?
The discord between political parties, candidates and social classes affecting both worker and employer's rights is certainly cause for high-spirited debate.
What about the vicious storms that have swept across the U.S. and countries around the world causing earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, wild fires, flooding, landslides, disease, lack of food, water, housing and nuclear disaster?
Then there is the unrest in the Middle East, governments waging war on their people and the many innocents caught in between the various factions. We see wars, peacekeeping missions, the threats of terrorism, senseless killing and destruction with no end in sight.
There are fears regarding health insurance, Social Security, Medicaid, and other critical safety net programs.
We see needless violence, random shootings, bullying in our schools, drug use in society, violence at our southern borders and youth far too young to be committing suicide. We've recently read and heard about airline controllers asleep in the control towers, passengers left for hours on the tarmacs, collisions on the runways and no more free peanuts, pillows or blankets.
There is plenty to talk about when it comes to our stress-relieving pastimes with the NFL strike/lockout, entertainers who appear to self destruct due to abuses in their lives, and athletes using performance enhancing drugs. We've got plenty of new age stress, too, with identity theft, computer companies tracking our every move, social media going too far or not far enough.
I'm sure you can name dozens more I've missed naming, but you get the point. It seems the world and those of us sharing it are in real trouble these days. How can we cope or live with so much negative events all around us?
I started writing this column last Saturday, prior to Easter services, and hadn't drafted the ending yet. Then Father Riani, of St. Elizabeth's in Elizabethtown shared this simple story with his congregation. It's a story about a little water beetle.
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions.
Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was gone forever.
Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top.
When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.
So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed.
Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.
But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!
I, too, am distressed about many current events of the day, but that story seemed to sum up what I was thinking with regards to this column.
We all fear the unknown, but with faith in a higher authority and respect for those of us here in "our pond," there is a resiliency to persevere. We can spend our time worrying, fighting and complaining, or we can work together to find a way to solve the problems of the day and take satisfaction that we did our best, before our time here comes to pass.
Dan Alexander is publisher and owner of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.