As most of you know I have spent a reasonable length of time
and concerted effort to the study of psychology. A few have rightly or wrongly
considered me somewhat of an expert in the area. That said, it wasn’t until I
began studying screenwriting in the 70’s
that I ran across a fantastic teacher named Lajos Egri who understood more than
anyone before or after about the construction of characters by the
playwright. In his works he declared the
base human emotion and the one base driver in every case of conflict in life is
insecurity. Over the last forty plus
years I have written a bit, talked a lot and most of all observed this slice of
I must admit I felt that this was an over
simplification. Surely with the DSM III,
IV et. al. there is a lot more than this to a dysfunctional life. Frankly, there is when you consider the
numerous organic causes for psychic discomfort and psychological
dysfunction. However, once you take away
all the neuro-chemical and organic issues causing the pain and suffering
experienced by so called normal folks like you and me in our day to day
discomfort and fear we find the villain insecurity.
This topic became an issue for two of my friends recently.
Both above normal or average intelligence, neither having what would be
considered organic dysfunction, although I suspect in one case a slight abuse
of prescription medications, but pretty close to normal folks like most of us
si I was going to write about them. Then on July fourth at 2:30 in the morning
a friend died of an abdominal aneurysm. One day short of his 69th.
Birthday. Interestingly, exactly one week short of my own 70th. Sick
as this sounds I learned about it at 6:00 AM on the fifth on, of all things,
“Facebook”. Here I might interject that
should I live another six days I will have outlived every relative I have for
the last three generations with the exception of two daughters. This also
includes a younger sibling.
OK so here is the deal.
I feel pretty good, look OK, many are shocked to know I am seventy. I realize however the stuff can hit the fan
next Thursday night and I could join my friend gone one day short of a
milestone. I might mention here that both he and I are and were still working
and I assure you he looked great.
So now we come to the point and I can with great relief talk
about me and my experience and not about my observation of someone else. I, by the way, learned a long time ago, that
you can make a very educated guess about what is going on in another person’s
mind, but it is always a guess. We, and
in most cases even they do not know for sure.
I watched Facebook as the many friend of my friend told his
wife, “so sorry”, “praying for you” and if I can help let me know. About all
any of us can say when we are not in the wife’s shoes. Me, I wrote an
incomplete sentence, stopped and realized I was in a mild state of shock. That was almost 12 hours after I had learned
of his death. I might add here that after a couple of hours I did write of my
concern, my personal loss and my compassion for those he left behind. Saying more
accurately what I really wanted to express.
So what happened grounded me in my insecurity? It was an instant recognition and vivid
reminder of how fragile we all are and that life has absolutely no guarantee or
any form of predictability or longevity. Someone said life is uncertain, eat dessert first. I don’t
know for sure, but at least for me I have not eaten all my dessert yet. I at my
very core, the root of my existence don’t know if I will see the dawn of
tomorrow and neither do you. This is in part why humanity has invented hundreds
gods of old, numerous religions and have a never ending need for things. Money, power, and importance become what most
of us live for. Surely If I am a Senator or billionaire God will let me enjoy a
peaceful and long life and at last I will feel secure. How about if I am a
Guru, holy person or even a Pope? No my friends it boils down to this... No one
knows the future and not one of us can control tomorrow, we can however, choose
to be kind, caring and respectful in thought word and deed every minute. We
must realize insecurity is life and that is just way it is. We do not have to
trample others, get more money or power or the next ego satisfying gain to feel
secure. We have to be able to honestly say…. If I do not see tomorrow’s sunrise,
I and all who I encounter are at peace and content that I have spent every
minute of my life honestly and without harm to others. That is all the security
anyone of ever gets. Peace of mind others will care when your time is due.
Oh, by the way, over the last year or two, I don’t remember
when my friend wasn’t trying to help someone else, had a warm smile on his face
and left you wanting to see him again and just visit. I sincerely feel, in his
own way he already figured this all out.
I sincerely hope you, like I suspect my friend have already
figured this out and this note is just another confirmation not a new thought