Despite the fact that I am a self-confessed pessimist and cynic, I do have the ability to find the silver lining in almost any situation. It’s an odd thing, but even the most devastating of things – I can see the good things that arise from it. Not just good things that happen near to it, no I can see the goods things that are actual consequences of that horrible thing. Sometimes these are pretty big, and sometimes they are hard to admit to.
The most telling of them all was 10 years ago when a friend died. A big loss for many of my friends, a massive loss for a few of them. It was sad and horrible and shocking and depressing. What happened as a direct consequence of that loss is actually perhaps the most important thing to happen to me yet. A friend of the one who died, and a friend of mine as well, had moved away to another state several years beforehand. He came back to our little town for a couple weeks so that he could attend the funeral.
10 years later and we have three children together. That would not have happened if our friend hadn’t died, leading him to visit us all and deciding to move back down here permanently.
Silver linings of this calibre are horrible things in their own way. This a pretty big consequence of something horrible that happened, if that horrible thing hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have my 3 kids. So, I could wish that the person had not died – but I recognise that I am in some way, not glad, but grateful perhaps, that they did. And isn’t that a horrible thing?
Silver linings, sometimes quite evil things.
A few years ago my parents and I had a big fight and the consequence of that is that I didn’t see them or speak to them for over a year – except the occasional text with my dad on birthdays and such, and random non-personal chat on Facebook with my mum. There may have been a silver lining in all that, I am not sure though. No it’s what happened next that had a silver lining. My dad died before I could see him again, but as result of his death my mum and I made up and are again quite close.
This is a not so big silver lining, because in this one – and she would agree I think – I would prefer to still be at odds with both of my parents, if only they were both here to be at odds with. Still, I am not ungrateful for the silver lining that is there.
Last week I was mowing the lawn, but my mind wasn’t really on what I was doing, it was elsewhere. I stopped to empty the catcher and I did my usual thing, drag my hand across the back of the mower where the catcher clips in, to get rid of the build-up of cut grass clogging the back. And then I full on shoved my whole right hand into the mower itself, while it was still running. I am fine, thankfully. A blade hit my right index finger only, it immediately swelled up and bruised and is still quite stiff and painful a week later – making it especially hard to type all of this by the way.
You might think the silver lining here is that I didn’t lose or break my finger, but that’s not it at all. I had no risk of losing my finger before this happened, so no it’s not really a silver lining – just something to be grateful for. The silver lining in this story is quite simple – I now have a story to tell people and make them laugh at my absolute stupidity. Because really, what kind of idiot shoves their hand inside a running lawn mower? This kind of idiot, that’s who!
Silver linings, I can’t even with you right now!
What’s the point of this post? No point really, I was just thinking about silver linings and found the contrast between these three things to be quite interesting. A silver lining that is so big that you can’t conceive of the horrible thing never happening. A silver lining that doesn’t make up for what happened, but is still a good thing itself. And a silver lining that is just crazy, but still amusing.
I don’t know that every bad thing that happens will also have a silver lining – though going by my first story, it’s possible that everything has a silver lining for at least one of the people experiencing the bad thing. Maybe. All I know is that all those bad things that happen to people at least have the possibility to create something good. The trick is seeing what the good thing is and then accepting it for what it is – even if it isn’t quite good enough to make up for the bad.
And it makes me wonder, are there bad things that have happened to me that have created amazing things for other people? Maybe there wasn’t a big massive silver lining for me, but maybe there was for someone else. And that’s an interesting idea really.
Although, what anyone is going to get out of me sticking my hand in a mower, other than a few laughs, is beyond me. But maybe someone reading this really needs a good laugh at something stupid, and so it maybe does matter.