“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”
From the first moment I found out about the passing of Robin Williams, this line has been stuck in my head. Over and over and over it plays.
For those of you who don’t know, I work as a lifeguard at the Kennett Area YMCA 2 mornings a week. And I’m gonna be honest, yesterday was a crappy morning.
Thursdays are very busy mornings from 6am-7:30am. We have aqua fitness classes, as well as a stroke clinic that helps adults with their swimming. During that time, we have 3 lap lanes normally. Well this morning aqua fitness was especially full, so we gave them another lane to accommodate, which means that one our members in one of the lap lanes had to share. And he HATES to share. Needless to say, he was very upset.
To be honest, the fact that he was upset, upset me a bit. I felt like we had failed at making the best out of the situation we had been given. But then the other guard (we’ll call her Sally) was out talking to one of the ladies who works at the front desk (we’ll call her Jess). And while Sally and Jess were talking, Jess made a comment that changed my who attitude when Sally told me. She said “look at the pool. You have a very full pool of happy members, and only one who is unhappy. That’s a win in my book.”
And when I heard that, my whole perspective changed. We had taken a potentially volatile situation, and made peace. (and those who know the relationship between stoke clinic and aqua fitness know what I mean) Presidents can’t even do that. Maybe Sally and I should run for office…
Am I still upset that we couldn’t make it work with everyone? Yeah, a little. But I did my best, and I can rest easy knowing that…
Check back Monday for a second post inspired by this incident…