Sometimes everything isn’t enough

Community Columnist

They said I was impressionable because I wanted to be like the Beatles, because they added color to the black and white, spice to the bland, blessedness to the damned and cleanliness to the whistle.

They said I should reach for something more within my means, but shouldn’t a man’s reach exceed his grasp?

“Music gives pleasure as we never can,” Kurt Vonnegut once said. “I’ve said that the purpose of the arts is to make people like life more than they had done before, and people ask me if I’ve seen this done and I say, yes, the Beatles did it.”

Somehow, it seemed, it was never easy living life as the Rolling Stones.

I recently read a column by a woman who appeared somewhat disappointed that she had risen to a successful status in the male-dominated world of corporate business, and yet found it frustrating that her expectations far surpassed the results of her achievements.

It seemed having it all left something to be desired.

Since the days of Dickens, and way before then, great expectations have hounded many a planner and achiever. They shape journeys, expand boundaries and forge new passageways, but they also make promises they cannot keep.

Whether it’s counting the chickens before they’re hatched or discovering that chickens are a bit messier than just nuggets, people never seem to know exactly what they’re getting into except that the neighbor has greener grass so they might as well hop the fence.

Certainly, there is an ongoing flux regarding what we have and what we lack. From fiscal equity to brain cells, there is a liquidity that goes along with being alive. Like my hairline, “here one minute and gone the next” has become the accepted mantra for those in touch with reality.

Of course, most of us are in denial about plusses and minuses due to the subjective nature of our own comfort zones. It’s far easier to retain the allure of youthfulness than suffer its consequences, just like yesterday’s failures, though educationally valuable, are more likely to be put out with the trash.

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