I checked my inbox, as I usually do every morning, looking for the invitation. It had to be there. I had no concrete idea of what I was looking for or how the subject line might have read but I looked nonetheless. Everyone else, it would seem, received this invitation. Everyone else had been able to discern, from whatever the subject line read, that this was a “can’t miss” type of a thing. I must have received it as as well. Why wouldn’t I have been on the recipient list? Why would I have been overlooked? I redoubled my efforts and continued to scan my inbox. Ultimately, I resigned myself to the the fact that it wasn’t there. I must have missed it. Perhaps I deleted it, along with a hundred other offers and solicitations, without recognizing the utter importance of this single message.
As I look around my life, as of late, I can’t help but to feel as though there is some crucial piece (or pieces) of information that I am missing. Some special secret is being spread, person-to-person, or by special assembly, that is passing me by. That is why I started looking for the email. Maybe, periodically, meetings are convened where the secrets to happiness and contentment are revealed. That must be how it happens. Perhaps there’s an email circulating that contains, within it’s text, a time and place where the fortunate are directed to show up. Undoubtedly, there’s a password or secret handshake that allows one to gain access to the meeting. People wander into this meeting and exchange surprised looks at seeing familiar faces of friends and neighbors. They mingle for a bit, find a seat, and then the magic happens. A hush falls over the crowd as some elder statesman takes the stage and begins to succinctly disseminate the secrets of life. I picture that the tenor and tone of this speech is that of Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko from the movie Wall Street during his infamous “Greed is Good” address.
The brilliance of this meeting is in its brevity. The message isn’t long and drawn out. What it consists of is simply a few missing, secret pieces of information that enable the listeners to piece their lives together. What is revealed during this address serves to function like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that allows those lucky enough to hear it, the ability to complete his or her own picture and see life in its entirely.
I see these people everyday. I can recognize those who have been lucky enough to have attended one of these secret meetings. They have calm faces. They have intact families and rewarding careers. They have figured it out. In many cases, unfortunately, this doesn’t make them better people. They can be arrogant and stupid. Most often they are just that. They can take things for granted. Many times, they move through the sea of life, completely unaware of what,or who, they leave in their wake. They do, however, make it look easy. In fact, oftentimes, they appear to be absolutely clueless as to how well they are doing or how they got to where they are. They can make the worst decisions seemingly without consequence. Their lives seem to, almost accidentally, turn out for the better.
On the other hand, I can also recognize those, like me, who have yet to receive their invitation. Perhaps they accidentally deleted it. Their furrowed brows tell of deep worry and convey a sense of puzzlement toward life. They are bewildered as they react to the forces that shape their stories. A single bad decision or misstep on their part have profound reverberations throughout their lives. These people are no less intelligent or able-minded than the aforementioned. In fact, in many cases, they are more so. These people are extremely thoughtful and introspective. They work, tirelessly, for the betterment of themselves and those around them. They just haven’t received their invitation. There is something missing. Like an intricate and complicated machine that is missing one small piece that would allow it to function as it was designed and intended to, these people still function, technically, but they accomplish nothing. Their efforts are focused on fixing what’s broken instead of building something new. They react to life instead of impacting it. Their lives are a fury of misdirected, spent energy as they seem to move in circular patterns.
So maybe that’s it. Could it be that simple? Just like there are the “Have’s” and the “Have not’s” maybe there are those that are “In the know” as to how to make everything work. If I were a conspiracy theorist I might take it a step further. Perhaps, periodically, those in charge (George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Kanye West and a rotating attendance by any Kardashian, among other seemingly hapless success stories) get together and make out the invitation list for the next meeting. The emails go out and a new class of the initiated sets out to conquer. In the meantime, the rest of us wander though our days wondering what it’s all for.
I’m going to go check my inbox…again.