Lament for the Lemmings

Lemmings have always fascinated me. All of a sudden, en masse, a whole crowd of them takes off running and leaps off a cliff into the sea, and they die. What makes them do this? Not a clue. And what does this have to do with anything else? I think our society (or at least many members of it) share some attributes with lemmings. Years ago, I acted like a lemming too. Ran around like a crazy person, ticking off my to-do list. Always too busy to just sit down and hang out. Busy. Busy. Busy. I had legal pads full of items to do and nothing made me feel more accomplished and important than crossing off all those to-dos.

I’m not suggesting that we all sit around and contemplate our navels or watch the grass grow, but it seems to me there is a balance some where in between. I was incredibly lucky on so many levels when my heart issues required a second ablation which resulted in a puncture and all sorts of drama. Miraculously, I survived, thanks to some incredible medical people, support from family and friends, and God. It clearly was not my time. That happened six years ago next week.

That whole experience understandably forced me to think about what was important in my life, since I came so close to losing it forever. I realized that many of the things that took up my time were really not that important. It was time for me to do what my soul ached for, not what society seemed to dictate. Our society places a great deal of importance on accomplishment, but sometimes process is more important than achievement. People can have a tremendous influence for good by just being….it is not all about doing, but much is about being….and allowing oneself to be the person our soul yearns to reflect.

I don’t want to be a lemming and race mindlessly to the finish line over the cliff. I feel sorry for those who lose their lives like the lemmings. I lament them. Our lives are precious, let us appreciate and savor the time we are given.

About Helen Akinc

Writer: The Praeger Handbook for College Parents, Praeger Publishing, Dec. 31, 2009; Inter-cultural coach: Teaching Intercultural Competency Program for International Studies, Wake Forest University; speak Turkish, Cook: Very interested in ethnic cooking and am working on a Turkish cookbook;
This entry was posted in Life philosophy, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.