Guidelines: Come to the Surface


By Simon Ambit

The longer I go through life. the more I have come to believe that a large part of life is based upon perspective. For instance, let’s say that a parent gives a child a rule of “do not leave your toys in the hallway or on the stairs.” The father has likely implemented this parameter based on the grounds of safety. The mother brings the concern over having a cluttered home or having a toddler put a toy into his/her mouth.

What about the little boy who has to live by the law? What of his perspective? He doesn’t think of the previous concerns. He knows nothing of safety or cost of replacement if a toy gets stepped on and destroyed. All he sees is a restriction placed upon him that hampers his desires, challenges his convenience and makes his playtime life more difficult. He wants to set up his perfect little town and drive his cars through the imaginary streets right up until bedtime. He wants to have it all be there in the morning, just as he left it. This can be a routine source of contention in the home until each member takes the opportunity to see things from the others’ point of view.

It is in the spirit of perspective that I reach out with this article. I address a topic of extreme tenderness, which from my perspective is becoming way too common in our wonderful little valley. From my point of view, we have too much drug use and too much suicide. I feel that the reason for this is as varied as the individuals involved. However, I believe that the solution is… perspective. To those of you who struggle with these issues, I want to say that there is always hope and help. It may seem at times that you are in a fog that won’t lift and you cannot go on, or that you are stuck just beneath the surface of the water and nothing short of that next high will bring you up for air. But this is not the case. The best always lies ahead and there is a way out.

When my father was a young man, he and his young friends used to enjoy swimming in the pond during the hot summer months. One particular summer, the pond was spotted with lily pads. The boys thought it fun to swim across the top of the water and among the large leafy pads. They began to get more and more adventurous until my dad accepted the challenge to swim to the bottom and weave among the tall stalks. In the course of the submerged swim, he quickly found out that the bottom was much thicker due to not only increased lily pad stalks, but also reeds, moss and further undergrowth along the floor of the pond.

As he tried to kick free and swim out of the forested floor, he became entangled among the vegetation. The more he struggled, the worse his situation grew. As panic begin to set in, it became a battle for life itself and he raged to get free and claw his way to the water’s surface. But the arms of the undergrowth only gripped in tighter around him and his movements became restrained.

At this moment, he thought about how moments earlier they had lazily been gliding through the pads upon the surface. Somehow, he ceased to frantically struggle and simply eased his way along. The bonds loosed and he was able to slither his way off the bottom to the refreshing life atop the surface of the water.

To those who struggle and feel bound and hopeless in the undergrowth at the bottom of the life’s pond, I pray that you understand that what I am saying is that there is a way. You must never give up, even when all that you have tried up to this point has not worked. You must continue to believe in yourself and see things from new perspectives. You are worth so much and mean so very much to so many. Life is good; may you continue to swim and enjoy the bright and life giving light that is your success.