Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Warm Bed

You're in a warm bed.

If you're like the majority of privileged Americans, you begin each day in a warm bed. Sometimes you are alone in the bed, sometimes not, but you're safe, you're secure and you are warm.

No matter what your bosses or teachers or parents tell you, you have a choice when the alarm clock rings. It's decision time. Most of us make this decision in an instant, either to hit the snooze button and delay the inevitable rousing by a few minutes, or to turn the alarm off, and get out of bed. Most of us make this decision daily, and, depending upon the time we went to bed the night before, we toggle between the two.

What about the third choice? What about not waking up, not leaving your bed at all. Again, no matter what your teachers say, no matter what your bosses say, no matter what your parents say, you can stay in bed. Unplug that alarm, turn your phone off and stay in bed. It's warm after all, and the pressures of the morning are often uncomfortable. Showering, eating, talking to people, just stay in bed.

What happens though, when you stay in bed? What happens when you choose comfort over responsibility?

You start to lose things.

I doubt highly that your teachers will come to your house to physically remove you from bed. There's got to be some kind of employment law prohibiting the physical removal of bed from person. And your parents, well they may try to get you up, but just play heavy and they'll eventually leave you alone.

So now what? Back to losing things. What keeps you getting out of bed everyday? It's probably the thought of what you'd lose for not getting up. School will suffer, your grades may drop. Your job will certainly suffer; I don't know of one boss who promotes random acts of absenteeism. You may even lose your job.

Things will start to fall apart. You have a responsibility, everyday, to get out of bed and fight the day.

I'm learning that life is the same way. The comfort of our lives prompts us to stay comfortable, to never risk the idea of leaving this comfort, certainly not in exchange for uncertainty. But I would argue that our lives suffer the same way we do if we stay in bed. We start to lose things.

Things start to fall apart.

Without getting out of bed each day we wouldn't be living. People can go for weeks, months, years at a time in a kind of vegetative state, laying in a bed, comfortable. But, would anyone call this living? Would anyone accuse them of being alive?

Life is spent most often in the bed. Not the physical bed (though this might be argued) but the intangible bed of comfort, this bed of security. We tell ourselves that it's cold outside, we tell ourselves that standing up isn't nearly as fun or safe as laying down, warm and comfortable. We tell ourselves that it's scary outside.

What we don't tell ourselves is that when coma patients wake up, they often have to rehabilitate, they lose muscle, they lose life. Every second spent in bed weakens us, we lose muscle, we breathe, but we aren't alive. The same consequences apply to our Life. The longer we spend in the comfort of certainty, the less we are alive.

Life isn't about sleeping, and living isn't about comfort. Living is about experience, and growth and fighting and losing, and winning and loving and feeling.

Living is about getting out of bed.

1 comment:

El Travieso said...

That is true. I prefer to stay in bed on all accounts. especially since i love sleep probably more than most. But getting up is when life is accomplished. Staying in bed is not truly living