“Some things just end. That’s just the way it is.” goes the common wisdom. And it’s wrong.
Nothing ends without effort. Without involvement. Without active participation. At the very least, nothing ends without first being started, and the energy of initiation carries it right through… until it doesn’t.
But more often than not, things require effort to end. More importantly, things that matter, that have real impact (for the good or otherwise) don’t end on their own.
Great stores who stock necessary items and are staffed by caring people don’t just cease to exist. Even of sales dwindle to nothing, there’s still the effort of boxes to pack. leases to break, keys to turn in, and windows to shutter as we lock the door behind us one last time.
Great stories don’t just stop. The really great ones tie up loose ends, give you a denouement, and leave you feeling satisfied not only about what you read, but also about what you learned.
Great people, by and large, also don’t just end. Whether they die suddenly or slowly, tragically or peacefully, there are still the goodbyes of those who remain, eulogies to be written and read, burials to perform, and stones to set.
The bad stuff doesn’t end without hard work either. Wars – whether waged on a world stage or behind a bedroom door – never just peter out of their own accord.
The messes we get ourselves into – the consequences of poor choices or karmic justice or just a really bad break (or a combination of all three) – don’t simply “go away”. We have to pay our debts, offer our apologies, and make our restitutions.
The world might end with a wimper, but that wimper is going to take a ton of work to squeeze out.
But it’s disease that is on my mind right now. This pandemic we’re in isn’t going to just end. It’s not going to all just go away one day. If we want it – the existential dread and frustrating inconvenience, if not the outright sickness and death – to stop, we all have to step up and do the work of the work.
Step up. Mask up. Vax up.
It’s not going to end any other way.