This Christmas Day, I meditate on the fact that I will be 60 years old in 2021. These eyes have seen a lot of things in that large span of time: Vietnam War, Kennedy Assassination, Watergate, Oil Crash 1982, Savings and Loan Crises, 9/11, Tech Bubble Crash, Housing Crisis of 2008, and now COVID-19.
All this reminds me of a song by Jerry Reed, “Today Is Mine”. In the song Jerry says, “Like all men, I curse the present, that seems void of peace of mind”. Yes, that once described me. Reed goes on to say, “So what, my friend, if all your dreams you haven’t realized, look around you boy, you got a whole new day to try”. Here is where I disagree with Reed – COVID-19 has shown me this is not true. When you undergo a year of lockdowns, you do not have a new day to try.
Now, when the days are closer to the end than they are to the beginning, life has taught me a big lesson – among many. The world is a dangerous place. What I mean is that the coronavirus is genetic material, and that material attacks human life at the most absolute fundamental place: our genetics. Every single living creator on earth is literally struggling to stay alive. It is impossible for anyone to promise you complete security.
As a child, I was idealistic and misguided. My heart was in the right place, but theory and reality do not always line up. I rejected the concept of “survival of the fittest”. However, after studying this virus, I see how inevitable it is. Thankfully, my religion has taught me that nothing is more important than protecting human life. So, although we are fighting an uphill battle, it is our goal in life to protect every living human being in what I consider a flawed world at its basic level.
What I have learned is that life is not all about chasing money, fame, and comfort. When I was young I had delusions of grandeur about the Heisman Trophy, the Nobel Peace Prize, doing ground breaking research that would save the world, getting the gold metal in the 100 meter dash at the 1980 Moscow Olympics (the USA did not participate that year due to boycott). I realize now that there are many other routine things that are perhaps more important. This lockdown has given me a lot of time to think about where I am and where I am going.
So, what I am saying is, every time I experience a oil market crash, a stock market failure, or a banking scandal, that is a time for me to “reset”. I compare what I see in the real world and compare it to the ideal theories in my head, and I “get a grip”. Perhaps I do curse the present, and perhaps I do not always have a new day to try; but, Today Is Mine.