I ran into a friend of mine today who, for a variety of health reasons, is having to take retirement earlier than he thought he would. Now, I must say, his own life highway has been a spectacularly rough one, and he has lived through all sorts of things that would easily fit into Nietsche's "That which does not destroy me makes me stronger" category.
And he all of a sudden ... "has to," shall we say... take retirement.
And he is not going gentle into that good night.
And the Great Machine of the Universe is presenting him, just as it has presented to us, very unwelcome lessons in detachment.
And he doesn't like it any more than we do.
Does the fact that other people suffer make me feel "better?" Does their pain reduce mine? Of course not; if we were in a room full of grand pianos each of which was resting on one of our hands, saying "Well, everybody else has a grand piano on their hand" wouldn't make me feel any less pain from the piano's weight on my hand.
But it certainly does remind us that, no matter why we face the challenges of "it's time to change the way I live, whether I'm ready or not," we all react in sadly similar ways. And there's a technical term for people like my friend, and like me, and like all of us, who find unwelcome confrontation with our situations to be particularly painful, particularly wrenching; reaching deep within us and grabbing us by our very soul. Yes, there's a technical term for people like us: