I used to become annoyed when older people would respond to my lamentations about a problem with the comment “This too shall pass.”
I felt that they were making light of something that was important and possibly earth-shattering.
I felt as though they did not care.
I felt dismissed.
I felt unheard.
I felt angry.
Now, as an older person, I find myself saying, often with a sigh, “This too shall pass.”
I say this to myself as well as others.
I am not giving up
I am not making light of the problem.
I am acknowledging that some things are out of my control.
Some things need time for resolution.
Some things don’t seem to have happy endings…at least for the present.
When I respond that way, especially to a young person, I need to reassure them that I hear them and that I care about their issue.
I need to gently remind them that sometimes, there is no immediate answer or, at least, not the answer sought.
Life is a work in progress.
There are few absolutes.
We do the best we can.