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  • Writer's pictureJacob Skorka

The Fragility of Life

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Here, have a beer and walk with me down a fickle road as I pretend to be the wisest person you know.

We've all heard a bazillion clichés. We know that life is short, so live it. All of the adults in your life have told you to do something you love, and you'll never work a day in your life. It's seemingly impossible to reiterate enough times that you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, to actually take that seriously and do something crazy today. My point is, the concept of life being fragile is not a foreign concept to anybody. You'll be hard-pressed to find a culture or geographic location that doesn't understand this concept.

When was the last time that you took the time to actually sit in this idea, and feel its weight? If you're like me, you haven't, maybe ever. Maybe you regurgitate sayings that you've heard or give yourself pep talks every once in a while, but have never felt the fragility of life.

For me, even using the word "fragile" adds some weight. Fragile things break, and that is a concept that I understand very deeply. When I see a cardboard box labeled FRAGILE my first reaction is never to kick it as hard as I can. Sure, it's an overused joke to pretend to kick it, but it's never something that I do. Seven letters organized to form a word that carries enough weight to stop me in my tracks. Enough to change my entire perspective about what is inside the cardboard box and, as of recently, are more than enough to change my perspective about life. Because, for us, our everything is inside that box.

Think about your favorite TV show, and your favorite character. The show loses characters, and if it doesn't lose characters then the show ends. Unless it's Grey's Anatomy, Days of Our Lives, or General Hospital then it just loses characters but won't ever end. Have you ever been heartbroken when a character dies because it didn't feel necessary. Leaving behind no explanation or reasoning, seemingly not caring about how much you loved them, and blatantly disrespecting your loyalty to the character. I get so pissed when that happens!

Recently I started applying that scenario to my actual life and that's when it started to click for me.

As I sit in this thought and realize that life is fragile, it's hard for me to ignore the type of creatures that human beings are. Humans are a resilient creature. Human beings are strong, and brave, and intelligent, and resilient shells of a box that hold the contents of an incredibly fragile pursuit. I say that we are shells because if you separate the two, if you take life from a human, then what are you left with? If you take away the contents of the box, then the box is just a box. I'm not only talking about death when I say that. I'm mostly talking doing things that bring you life. Finding something that makes you feel alive and doing that, instead of something that takes life away from you. When you take the glass out of the box, then you can kick it as hard as you want.

In the fragility of life, when you marry the strong, brave, intelligent, resilient shell to the fragile life inside, you find a beautiful image of what our pursuit is. You see that life is hard and that life is fun. It is both a majesty of an art piece, and the scariest of any responsibility. Life is complicated, life is simple, life is too often right in front of us and we're scared to wrap our hands around it because it might break.

Most of the time, life is all of those things in the same moment and we are too finite to process it all. We are creatures who have the capability to do things with an unrelenting ferociousness, but in the same breath it is easy for us to cower in a corner and get kicked around. I don't have a solution or any words of advice to offer you but I do hope you see this beautiful dichotomy that you're facing every day. What are your thoughts on this?

Cheers to being able to drink a beer and unpack the box without taking the glass out.


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