We all know this song. Multiple artists have covered this one, to the point that most generations have a favorite who has it on one of their albums. Just start humming and “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot” rolls of the tongue. Joni Mitchell wrote about pesticides, tearing out all the trees and that “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”. Wise words indeed.
The concept of not realizing what we have until it’s gone is not a new one. To turn it into a hit that is still being re-recorded fifty years later, THAT is amazing! We all know this feeling. We think we appreciate the people around us, the job we have, the home where we live, our spouse, partner, community, our health and our freedom…yet we TRULY do not appreciate all that those elements bring to our lives until they are missing. No one plans to be reorganized out of a job, or to have an important person die, or to see the end of own personal freedom, yet it happens to people everyday.
In my father’s generation to be fired from a job was unheard of. For my siblings, our spouses, our cousins, our neighbors and our friends it has become common place. For some of us it has happened more than once. What was unthinkable has now become commonplace. Strange and tragic at the same time. Maybe Joni Mitchell was reminding us that our reality will change without us even realizing what has gone? Be it trees, bees, jobs, people, or freedom to speak our minds, everything changes. All the time.
I once heard it said to plan for the worst, live for the best, and daily life usually falls somewhere in between the two. I do not have the power to stop global warming, or river pollution, or even challenge our constitutional rights; however, I do have the power to live my life in such a way as to support the things that are important to me and make a small dent in the tides I see changing. I can vote, voice, and live to support my world. What about you? What is important to you and how are you living to support that?