Everything Dies Beautifully

As humans, we have a healthy appreciation for creation, birth, everything that is new and interesting. Which makes sense. Newborn babies, fresh fruit and innovative designs all hold promise and need to be loved and nurtured to grow and be useful to us. It gives us a sense of purpose to care for that what is new and young.

But as animals we also develop a violent aversion to it’s opposite. Destruction, death and everything that is old and samey worries us. We dislike the idea of growing old or of being hurt. But we also dislike seeing things growing old and becoming damaged. It’s as though our world is an extension of us, and we see ourselves reflected in that shirt we won’t throw away or that pet cat that died. We want everything to last forever.

The contradiction there, being of course that nothing can last forever without either becoming old or losing some interest. And nothing can be new if nothing is old. And nothing can be created without first destroying something else. Destruction, change, death and transformation are part of the process of creating new things.

A newborn life is built on thousands upon thousands of deaths, thousands of decaying, degrading bodies that break down and are reassembled into a new body. To create fire we must destroy coal and to create coal we must burn wood and to burn wood we must kill trees.

All sorts of devastating events aren’t really endings. They’re closer to recycling. Nothing can last forever in the same state because to create new things, life must first find some raw materials. Everything needs to change to keep on going, or to end and give rise to something new.

So, whilst it may shock and horrify us as animals and as humans, it’s wise to view disaster, pain, suffering, death and the slow processes that lead to them with more a sense of nostalgia than fear or sadness. After all, it’s always happening, all around us, and as life gives way to death, so does death give way to life.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

How To… show care.

Sometimes, for some of us at least, it can be hard to get across that we actually care about someone or something. Or maybe we don’t fully understand or actually care, but we need to not alienate them. If you’re as socially awkward as I can be and need a little help, here are a few steps to showing care and concern.

1: Pay close attention.

Whatever they’re talking about, listen closely and carefully. Details, emotions and hints are everywhere in conversations when someone is in need. Make mental note of everything that seems relevant to them, as it may become more important later on. When discussing sensitive subjects it can be hard to ask people to repeat themselves and clarify, so the more you pick up the first time, the better.

2: Physical contact.

When someone needs comforting physical contact is often the most reassuring thing. Don’t necessarily start hugging someone you hardly know, but a bit of friendly contact like a hand on a shoulder can make all the difference.

3: Meet their needs.

After the conversation you will have a fairly clear idea about what you could realistically do to help. Offer help when you can and make it clear that you aren’t being inconvenienced.

4: Offer food or drink.

More comfort is found in food and drink. If you can’t do much for them, at least bring them a stiff drink, some chocolate or a pizza. Something comforting, easy to consume and that may help even them out a little. It also encourages normalcy by giving them the option of sitting down to a regular meal and gives more chance for conversation.

5: Give them some space.

If there is literally nothing you can do for them, make sure they are in safe hands and give them plenty of space. Having everyone looming around can sometimes make people feel like they’re causing drama, which makes them postpone the natural recovery process. Instead, back off until you’re useful or called upon and try and encourage others to do so as well.

And that’s how I manage when I’m not sure how to react when someone is distressed.

What would you suggest adding? Open to any advice.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!