April 26, 2021
Reading Hunter Biden’s memoir “Beautiful Things” caused me to pause as frequently as a snail on a muddy path. My jaw kept dropping and I was feeling a knot in my stomach getting tighter as I read each paragraph. I found myself closing the book periodically, turning my eyes inward and examining each internal organ to be reassured that my life trauma had not affected my internal operations. I was having an awakening and was triggered to recognize and pay attention to the beauty of each day.
I wondered about the suffering endured by the Biden family, individually and collectively, and wondered how the selection of pain and suffering is made. How is the distribution of suffering to individuals and families done? Who is assigned what and who isn’t? Who survives and who doesn’t?
Hunter Biden, son of Jill and Joe Biden, described a trip on the pink horse down a dark, cold, troubled, smoky alley. He struggled with losses, human fragility, presidential beatings, political attacks, national scrutiny, wayward souls, addictions and hard fought redemption. All in the first forty years of his life. I acknowledge that all humans have life challenges, some more than others. Some more gruesome than others. Life’s challenges are inevitable but how are these challenges distributed? How is it that some people move through life more smoothly than others – knowing that pain, suffering and tragedies are universal conditions?
As I churned these thoughts in my mind and every neuron in my brain began to fire up, I heard my grandmother’s voice in my head saying, “God does not give you more than you can handle.”
Hunter Biden entitled his memoir “Beautiful Things,” but what was beautiful about what I was reading? With a microscopic lens, I realized that his beauty was the unconditional love he received from his brother, Beau, and father, now President Joe Biden.
I don’t have the answers but I know that I have to cultivate the boundless beauty and love that have been bestowed upon me despite the many life obstacles that I have endured.
I know that I have to breathe deeply because my lungs are highly functional. I have to give recognition to them and not take my respiratory functions for granted. I know that I have to clap my hands and dance without choreography because my heart regulates the pulsation of my movements. I know that I have to not get too tired, too cynical or too distracted. I, like any other human, have to always prepare for life’s trials in whatever form they present themselves. Let’s not take life for granted and let’s value every breathing moment that has been awarded to us.
Despite the hardship and suffering that we all endure from time to time; regardless of its form, intensity and duration; let’s find life’s splendour. Let’s remind ourselves that life comes with many ups and downs, twists and turns. We have to draw strength from the awards of love and beauty that are woven in between the fabric of life.
Hemingway wrote: “The world breaks everyone leaving many stronger in the broken places.”
“Don’t take the beauty of life for granted!”