“So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish” – Douglas Adams

Dolphin LookA simple quote from likely one of the finest book ever written.

In all my days, I have never once found this less profound the following day from when I remembered it being read the very first time. In so many respects, this seems such a silly and frivolous statement but in the great scheme of life it makes such perfect sense.

Now I am assuming you have even a clue as to which I speak of here, and if that is not the case .. please do yourself and your loved ones and stop reading this now. Get the book, or in the most tenable of situations I suppose the movie but in either manner ingest this nearly perfect piece of fiction and then come back here.

Assumption assumed.

There comes a time in life when we all must face the simple truth that no matter the words, the intent, the hope or the wish .. that life is simply going to be what it is.

It is a harsh reality and it is not one that is easily accepted, but that does not ever mean you should stick around to watch life fall apart in a situation that is not you doing, or if it is your doing to stay in that place where your intentions were simply circumvented by more profound intentions or worse yet your simple ignorance.

Life is much too short and much too precious to be wasted and lost in a world that considers you to be nothing but a bit of amusement when it is your existence that hangs in the balance. The life that you hold (or should hold) precious above all others.

Some may say that what I just stated is incredibly selfish and in fact may negate heroism, but it really does not. What it says and what it infers is we take the true stock in our lives that we should. Heroism, honor, sacrifice for others, and even perhaps altruism MUST be extended from those who actually understand the value of their own lives and choose to risk loss or definitive change to their world in order to accept that the ones around them also value their lives at the same level.

If we did not do so, then how could we as a life form have ever survived the eons? It takes the sacrifice of the few at times to ensure the living of the many and that can only be accomplished by the ones that understand their own value and in doing so convey that upon others as well.

A bit of a winding road from the title, but when you now take into account that there are times in life when the best and only course of action is to walk away from the challenge that you are led to … understanding what the quote is, is the most honorable and heroic action to take.

Why you are likely to ask? … the why is simple, the challenge faced has no value and it is beyond your ability to ever affect the change you desire. Your sacrifice be it in life or be it in happiness will be fruitless and gain nothing in the end.

That is not an act of heroism or of honor but in fact a total disregard to the value of your own life and in turn the value of those around you.

When faced with the (wait, I am assuming you have a clue as to the title) destruction of all of earth along with humanity, these more intelligent creatures finally understood and realized they would never have an effect as to the outcome. It was proven in the many times they tried, and in the end they left, walked away (err swam upwards) and left us to our own ignorance and did so with the most heartfelt and sincere sentiment they ever could produce “so long and thanks for all the fish”

I have no doubt there comes a time in all of our lives where the most effective and profound words to use are simply those. So do we rise to occasion and say those words or do we simply devalue all of those around us along with ourselves and push through to a result that was simply a wish rather than an observation of the facts and out ability to affect the outcome?

My guess is that we will all choose equally in this matter and after much choosing it will be left through experience to witness the facts of life and simply say “thanks for the fish”, smile and walk away.

What I wonder as I write this is if the most profound of us do this at their first inkling of self value or at their death bed?

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