I frequently consider myself to be the luckiest man in the world. Maybe that reminds you of the infamous Lou Gehrig, or maybe that sentence just made you roll your eyes. I know it sounds dramatic, but I like to say it anyway. It’s one of the few things that I will say unapologetically and it all ties in with the theme of this post; the idea of survivor’s guilt. Survivor’s guilt is a heavy term with a lot of layers. It tends to suggest a traumatic past, but I would like to you to focus on the idea of it simply implicating some kind of burden. It is a somewhat ethereal concept and for me it’s more of an internal conflict, or better yet a self-interrogation, that I submit to almost every day.
- Why did I get this opportunity?
- Why do I get to enjoy this moment?
- Why do I get to spend time with these people?
- Why did he have to suffer, when I didn’t?
- Why do I get to live my life this way, when he doesn’t?
- Why me?
A lot of this has to do with my childhood and my family, which I won’t get into today. Instead, I’d like you to reflect on how this guilt might impact your feelings or intercede your thoughts. Personally, it affects how I make almost every decision. It’s a fairly decent motivator and when I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, it’s a great justification for my actions. But when I feel like I’m failing, it’s a black hole in every sense of the term. So, my friends, I wanted this introductory post to be short and I’ll stick to that. I’m introducing this concept now and I’ll continue to post about it in the future. For now, I will leave you with an unsolicited piece of wisdom. In your career, you will meet many people with seemingly countless challenges ahead of them. Do not lose faith in those people. Give them the opportunity to rise to the occasion and they will surprise you. And in their triumph, you will triumph as well.
“Survive. Survive to save yourself. Survive to move forward. Survive to come back home”.