Wise Words – Everything Will Be Okay in the End

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

John Lennon


How does it feel to hear John Lennon’s reassuring words? To think that no matter what is happening around us, whatever chaos or calamity we are facing, things will be okay? I have to admit, when I see the news, I can become quite discouraged. Threats to our safety abound:  war, nuclear threat, authoritarianism, political divisiveness, breakdown in social norms, current and future pandemics, extreme climate events, and governments that seem incapable of intelligent action. The world feels unstable and perhaps even frightening.

And yet John’s words ring true. When I hear them, something in me relaxes and I find myself agreeing, yes, things will be okay in the end. I feel that I can be at peace regardless of what the world throws at me.

These words are optimistic but realistic too, containing an admission that right now, from our vantage in the thick of it, things don’t look okay. We are going through a turbulent period in history where the pace and direction of change is disorienting. And yet John is saying that no matter how badly we humans might be mucking things up, the universe is heading in a direction that will end up on the good side of the ledger; that if we can keep the course, each step takes us closer to an ending that is better. Many large scale systems throughout the world are ripe for change. Although the coming changes may be extremely disruptive, they will bring opportunities for something new that could not have been created without the disruption.

Lennon’s idea applies to events in our personal lives as well. At various times, we each go through trials and crises, the death of a loved one, an unexpected health diagnosis, the loss of a job. When we are in the middle, we don’t feel okay at all and we don’t see how it could ever be okay. But that just means we have not gone through the process yet and have not reached the end. The lesson, the resilience, the resolution, the freedom, the new beginning, whatever it is we need to receive from the change can’t arrive without our passage through the muck of it. To get to “okay” we need to see it through to the end. It takes patience, which is the hardest part for me. I like a happy ending, but not the passage that gets me there.

Of course, we don’t have to take John’s view. We can choose to believe that there is more destruction than creation in the changes we are experiencing and that the end will not be okay. Many people do, but that is short-sighted and disempowering.

We tend to see the things we look for. If we take the view that things will turn out well, we will look for things that make it that way. Turbulent times prompt us to search for the areas where good change is happening and to water them. As I have written before, disruptive change throughout history has continually led to something better. Like John Lennon, I trust that track record.

By recognizing that everything will be okay in the end, I position myself to look for the positive potential in the midst of change. Not in a way that denies suffering and grief, but with a realization that suffering and grief must be endured in order to get to the end. With that outlook, I am more likely to see and act on the opportunities alive in world and to steer things toward an end that will be okay. Or even better.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

2 Replies to “Wise Words – Everything Will Be Okay in the End”

  1. Steve, thank you for a timely reminder. It is a philosophy to which I have always aspired, but sometimes lapse during times of stress. The sun is shinning today and that also helps. Dan

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