There is a saying that goes: “Every good thing must come to an end.” That adage may be a truism but reassuringly, it is not always the case. For example, chocolate is good, and while it may come to an end — when the ice cream or candy bar has been consumed — there usually is a never-ending supply merely a store or vending machine away. Love is good, and while someone you love may leave in one way or another, almost in every situation, there is always someone (or something, as in the case of a pet) else to love awaiting your affections.
An education is good, and while you may graduate from one level there are always other things to learn and other levels to achieve. Reading is good, and while you complete a book, you can always find another that sparks your interest. Air is good, and unless all the trees and plants die, it likely won’t come to an end. Even this column came to an end, something some of you felt was a good thing while it ran, while others felt it was a good thing only when it DID end. Either way it can’t truly end until I do — one way or other.
But unlike sweets, kindness, and good times, there are a few exceptions that make the “must come to an end...” saying true.
Money for example, is a good thing and sadly for the majority of the world, when it is gone, it’s gone. Yes, you can make more, but lately, for many, when you run out its tough to get more unless you lower your standards and accept much less than you were used to, if you can get any at all. An unending supply is out of reach, unless of course you come across a slow-thinking genie that doesn’t anticipate the “endless supply of circulating U.S. currency” wish, or that super lotto ticket number.
On that note, here’s a random thought: Why don’t you ever read: “Psychic kidnapped — Claimed captors wouldn’t release her until she gave them the winning lottery numbers”?
In the last few years, many people have found themselves out of work whether they had been laid off, outsourced or fired. Their “good thing” was gone. Many were able to qualify for some sort of assistance if they couldn’t find replacement jobs (both “good things”), but even the unemployment checks and new jobs can come to an end.
The good news was, for many, when that one “good thing” came to an end, another began. People began going back to school or started down a path they never even thought of venturing — both good things. Those that struggled longer had the “good thing” of having the opportunity to rethink their goals and spend more time doing things they enjoyed, such as hanging out with the spouse, the kids, or remembering what it was like to sleep in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying being unemployed is necessarily a good thing. But trudging along the same daily grind routine sometimes leads a person to lose sight of what their goals originally were. Careers often take away the integrity of personal relationships when time for them or time for hobbies and other things of enjoyment are replaced with work, errands and responsibilities.
Also, not everyone found jobs. Some are still looking. But many of those found “good things” in the kindness of charitable people or organizations or family or friends that became “new good things.”
Some times in life, we don’t realize that we even have a “good thing” until it’s gone. Other times we think something is a “good thing” when it really isn’t, and only when it is gone can we see it for what it is.
There is literally only one thing that is really “good” which will, undoubtedly, come to an end. You. And while you can be — in general — replaced, there are versions of continuation (depending on your beliefs) through heaven, reincarnation, children, or cloning, the best thing to do to keep that “good thing,” — the “good thing” that is your life — is to take care of it. Eat right, stop smoking, exercise, see your doctor regularly and most of all, remember to make time for the “good things.”