Contractions have become more regular. It feels like every five minutes. They are more intense and painful. They are overwhelming us and render us unable to accomplish anything. Our vital signs suggest that we are healthy, but we don’t feel well. It’s exhausting. There’s so much work to do, but all we can do right now is moan. We are scared from so much pain and worried about what could go wrong. A bucket of ice might make us feel better for a bit.
This day reminds us of all the effort and toil that gave us safer and better conditions in which to labor and produce today. It is sobering to remember the excesses and the legacy of pain and mistreatment, but learning how to manage better and how to ensure health and well being with even greater opportunities ahead sustains us.
At this moment it is all too easy to become lost in the overwhelming pain that has enveloped us. It can be tricky to not attach fear to the pain, or to let fear overwhelm us even more. Our job, painful as it may be at this moment, is creating a viable future beginning with our labor now. Knowing that labor is necessary before birth reminds us that we will soon get to push.
The next generation will have unprecedented opportunities that will transform aspects of life as we now know it, while underestimating unintended consequences. Backlashes will surface and resurface, which always seem to catch people by surprise. Despite progress, humans tend to react with fear from time to time, and often with violence. Here comes another contraction…..
Often we idealize the past and the future, forgetting about real human limitations. We like to imagine absolute health and comfort and limitless freedom for individuals, without considering what could ever go wrong. Or we imagine worst case scenarios and slippery slopes, often with regard to bettering conditions for underserved people or people who have bumped up against limitations, without trusting that inclusion has usually not only worked for individuals, but for society as a whole.
Is it possible to acknowledge the pain, the malfunctions, mistakes and limits that may coexist with noble ideals and actual progress? Can we have our needs met while we attempt to meet others’ needs?