We ask it of one another, every day. “Are you ok?” We answer plaintively–I’m fine, I’m good, I’m well. Because, really most of the time, we are generally ok. We can get through each day amongst a mountain of struggle (seen and unseen) in order to accomplish our lists. And most of the time this is…ok.
Yet there will be moments when we are genuinely not ok. We need to pause, we need to escape, we need to breathe. We need to honor that our bodies and minds are only able to handle a certain level of stress or angst or sadness or hunger or pain or fear or all of the above and if we don’t honor it, we are witness to our own destruction. In the pressures of our current societal pace, it is hard to honor the need to not be ok. We must keep pressing forward. We have to fight back against the pressures and accept our need to be fully human.
My favorite television show of all time is, of course, The West Wing. My people of the Bartlet administration have seen me through good times and bad. Heck, my dog is named after them. They are notorious in their use of the word ok and its power to bring closure, acceptance, and understanding. In TWW world, OK holds a LOT of weight; in the prose of Aaron Sorkin, it is not flippant. Much like I overuse the word awesome, thereby reducing its efficacy and power, I also overuse ok. I think it is time to honor the power of the true ok and use it sparingly–only when its power is truly necessary and its meaning truly real.
Ok. Ok. What’s Next?
**Image from The West Wing Weekly, aka The Best Podcast of All Time.**