Adele Elliott: Survivor skills

January 5, 2013 8:29:53 PM

Adele Elliott - [email protected]


I'm beginning to feel a bit like some sort of Superman. We all should. In spite of dire omens and doomsday prophecies, anyone reading this column has continued to wake up every morning to face another day. 


This week our country took a few steps back from the dreaded fiscal cliff. We are still dangerously close to the precipice. However, I suspect the landing may be much softer than we feared. 


In December the entire world was faced with the end of days. That is, if you trust the calendar-making competence of ancient Mayans. The whole thing was quite an anti-climax -- no fiery comets, no boiling seas, no global devastation. Oh well, perhaps it will happen in the next 3,000 or so years. The Mayans may have miscalculated just a tad. After all, nobody's perfect. 


In 2011, humanity was faced with not one, but two, dates for the rapture. As far as we know, no one was levitated, bodily, to heaven. Of course, it could have happened without our notice. If so, then so many sinners were left on Earth that the chosen were just not missed. Maybe we should do a quick head count. 


(Note to Chicken Little: The sky is not falling.) 


So, here we are, a planet of indestructibles, laughing at the fates. Go ahead, pummel us with Kryptonite. We can take it. 


In a way, the possibility of worldwide annihilation is kind of exciting. We would never again be faced with impossible bosses, endless bills, shattered dreams and crushed hearts. After a moment or two of absolute terror, we would all ascend to a peaceable kingdom, a land of "milk and honey," a giant picnic in a beautiful garden. (At least that is my idea of heaven.) Oh, Lordy, deliver me from this veil of tears ... please. 


But, somehow we just keep going. The Golden Triangle has not been immune to the wrath of Mother Nature. Hurricanes and tornados sweep across our country, leaving great swaths of splintered debris. Yet, we pick up the pieces, grab a hammer and start rebuilding. 


Our bodies may be wracked with frightening diseases; still, we shoot them full of chemicals and hope for the best. 


Tragic, violent things happen to the innocent. We weep, and put one foot in front of the other, when we really want to melt into a puddle of anguish and agony. 


So, my real message is: Pat yourself on the back, shake out the wrinkles in your superhero cape, and keep going. "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem ... " (Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne). 


I hope that everyone will give themselves a little credit for inner strength and personal fortitude. As much as we are optimistic for a peaceful 2013, deep down we know that this world will keep spinning with little change. It is our enduring faith in humanity, and in ourselves, which makes the Earth, and the Golden Triangle, a good place to be. Heaven can wait until our "super" and extraordinary work here is finished.

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.