James A Rutherford Funeral Home



 THE DOER AND THE DOING 

At the beginning of modern time measurement – was the clockmaker aware of how much time it took to build a clock? For those of us who work and are aware of the larger realm beyond the thing in which we partake, like the clockmaker who works within the realm of time, “creating" it while simultaneously living within it – we are perhaps cognizant of our actions on a level not necessarily thought about by others. 

Other examples might be the manufacturer that makes the product which they themselves use, the player on stage who acts out a life similar or dissimilar to their own, the surgeon who saves a life in the operating room while recognizing that they may not rise from some scheduled operation themselves, or the funeral director that delves into all the elements of dying, without actually doing it – knowing it will come one day. 

These examples might speak to a depth of involvement wherein the doer is acutely aware of the doing. The presence of such a fact can be a sobering experience at times. For myself, that experience would be informing and serving the public that grieves. I have grieved, as have you perhaps. The difference between us is that you may not have sat with countless individuals who reminisce about someone who shaped them, you may not have risen at 3 in the morning and sauntered out into the pre-dawn darkness to meet at a home with police and family over a tragedy, you may not have been idling at a red light with a body in the rear of a transfer van, a stranger in a car next to you completely unaware, waiting for the light to turn green. 

In many scenarios there are people who work in fields that have made them glaringly present to what thing is being done that is largely on the fringes of a society's thoughts.  

But despite the nature of any employment or any happening, all of us play and work in a world where there are gifts that are indiscernible, unless one watches for them in others or feels them manifest in oneself. To someone who moves through their day unaware of others: what others might think, what others might feel, what they might be going through – they may lose the gift that arises in the moment. Yet, it never leaves. It's the gift of making a difference for someone. And that gift is not exclusive. It might be large or it might be small. As simple as a smile or as gracious as paying for someone else's meal. 

Having a partner who works in our theatres, I see that, despite its trials and personal struggles, the theatre is a family. Having seen it now countless times; how those within the theatre support one another, do what they can to make the product better, take stock in each other's lives. Aware of the tireless work and the dedication required to create each year, the gifts theatre gives to this city are amplified for me. That is not to say that any manufacturing job or retail store or restaurant does not do the same. They do, in a different way, in a different capacity. But whatever the employ, there should be awareness of what it gives, gratitude in the giving and support from within it, working towards a common good. It's heartwarming. And when I see that effort, whether in a theatre, a local store, service or restaurant, I feel a desire to expand it outward. There is a sense that the people of the city of Stratford make it what it is when we act our lives out onto its sidewalks and streets.  

So, when something seen or done, warm and welcoming or cold and alienating spills its lesson into the consciousness of a citizen, there is always a choice somewhere in our interpretation of it. Most often it's a choice between service or selfishness, hatred or love. And like the larger choice made by governments for its people, there is a more important choice made by us for our soulful selves within the 24 hours of any day. We give, we keep, or we take away. 

When I decided to convert tragic news that I cannot control into deeds that I can, delete negative messages and hurtful conclusions without any basis and translate them into positive example, not only am I all the happier for it, but I begin to see others I hadn't noticed before, doing the same. Do not despair when there is a happening or a deed that hurts but do not sit back complacent and proud when there is not. As humans, as world citizens, our superpowers are to make something good happen, to wisely interpret what has happened or is happening and to empathize how we would feel if it were happening to us – and then move to make a difference. 

UNTIL SOON. LIVE WELL.

https://www.jarfh.com/

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