People Are Like Chef’s Salads

Do you ever wonder what your life might have been like if you were born let’s say to different parents in a different part of the world? I mean if you had a different nationality or belonged to a different race than what you are now.

As a kid I always wondered if I would have had an easier life if I were born somewhere else on the globe. Mainly because I grew up in a troubled part of the world, the Middle East. In a country devastated by civil war at the time. And as such I didn’t have a normal childhood and youth. And my dreams became different than the dreams of most normal kids my age in other safer regions. But as John Greenleaf Whittier wrote:

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’”


I still think about those times. Perhaps that was the main reason that I sought a better place for my kids and immigrated to Canada. Absurd isn’t it? How it wasn’t our choice to come to this world and it’s not our choice to leave. Our birth gives joy to our parents as our death causes sorrow and is painful to yet others. And yet whatever we do in life is our responsibility. We choose the people we want to spend our life with, and sometimes we don’t make good choices, or so we think. Because in the words of Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler):

“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.” 

Confusion and conflict. It’s like being on a ring, a boxing ring. Where you’re free to move only according to certain rules and regulations. Where you have to fight for your place in life. You go on circling the ring, sometimes giving blows, at other times receiving them. You fight for your rights. You fight to go on hoping to win someday. You keep moving and going, because all you dream about, all you wish for, is a perfect ending. But instead, to use Gilda Radner’s words:

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.” 


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One Response to People Are Like Chef’s Salads

  1. “Delicious Ambiguity” – how true! Take the moment and make the best of it. 🙂

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