Often, when you stand knee-deep in documents and worries and other little things that affect us all, someone comes along and asks, “Do you think this will matter if you died today?” And through this, they suggest letting loose about whatever troubles us. And when you answer, “No, it won’t,” they ask you in a tone that makes it seem rhetorical, “Then, why does it matter now?” But it is not rhetorical. There is no rhetoric there, just an empty strawman to give you a false sense of ease. It matters because I am not dead yet, because I am alive, and I live and breathe, and everything matters only because I am here to experience it.
The world will go as it goes even when I stop living in it, but if it is raining and if I am caught in the shower, I have every right to be ecstatic, if I have nothing to do and nowhere to be, and furious, if I have to be somewhere and my clothes are soiled. And if I see a sunset, it is only that I see it that matters as far as I am concerned. The sun would set without me, too, and it would not make a difference to me if I were not there. My presence in this world, that I can experience it in my own way, gives it meaning. Do landscapes exist until someone looks at them in awe and wonder?
All our frivolous trivialities matter only because we exist, so yes, the troubles matter, too. They count more than anything else in the world until I am here, and when I’m gone, they will be gone with me. The other evening, my mother and I talked about how even if you leave something undone and do not worry about it, on most days, it remains for you; you must come back and sort it out. This is a good thing. It is how things are. The problems I leave on the desk do not walk away. They wait for me patiently. Whatever we leave halfway waits for us to come back. So sure, look away from it all for a little bit, but know this: to have a life, to be able to breathe, begets responsibility. Whatever that means to any of us is what also has the power to bring so much joy.
My doctor has a habit of telling me, telling us, not to worry about things, that we stress a lot these days. What did people do before these days arrived? I often wonder when he says that.