C‘est la vie. Like so many expressions we’ve heard and clichés we’ve reflexively repeated over the years, I’ve always thought of c’est la vie as a rather flippant throwaway line in response to life’s little crises.
“That’s life” so what can we do about it?
I always thought it sort of fell into the “what–ev–er” or “it is what it is” get over yourself verbal brush-offs that have now become banalities. However, after living three decades in France and hearing c’est la vie probably hundreds of times, I’ve come to realize that “that’s life” is not blithely tossed about as light banter. No, it is used as it is strictly defined as an “acceptance or resignation in the face of a difficult or unpleasant situation over which we often have no control.”
The reason I’ve become somewhat focused on the sentiment is that all around me recently I’ve been hearing it more often than I would like and yet, at times, there is something almost — almost — comforting about hearing it because c’est la vie is always expressed with kindness and gentle follow-up words of kindness.
As Chuck Berry said: “C’est la vie; it goes to show you never can tell.”
How true. You never can tell. . .
Thank you for la joie de vivre you bring into my world. I think joy can be included when we say c’est la vie, at least I hope so. What do you think?