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Who am I on this planet?  For 63 years I have been trying to determine my place in the vastness of my environment.  My plan was to have all the answers by now.   I envisioned myself as an elder statesman educating the young to the ways of the world.  Truth is that the older I get, the more questions I have.

I see substance abuse, mental illness, crime, starvation, illness, hurricanes, tornadoes, child abuse, domestic violence, animal cruelty, terrorism, loneliness, accidents.  My heart breaks for this world and the human condition.  Why all the pain?  I do not understand.

In contrast, this planet is beautiful.  We have oceans, mountains, rivers, deserts, trees, flowers, rock formations and animals to enjoy.  Man has created architectural wonders, music, art, crafts, books and fine dining.

Earth’s greatest asset is the human spirit.  It is the deep, inner strength that picks up a town to rebuild after a tornado, a cancer patient to face another bag of chemotherapy,  an elderly woman to march on after losing her husband of 60 years, a victim to testify and a drug addict to kick the habit.  There are kind and generous people who are on the sidelines encouraging, providing a helping hand, giving financial support, donating blood and being friends.

Today, I know, that I am dust blowing in the wind.  My life on this planet is nothing more than a grain of sand, but there is more.  I am a spirit connected to all.  I may not understand why bad things happen to good people, but the way to improve the quality of life in this world, I learned as a child,   “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”