“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Joseph Campbell
“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.” Johann Wolfgang Goethe
“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,” Amit Ray
“When you don’t know what you’re living for, you don’t care how you live from one day to the next. You’re happy the day has passed and the night has come, and in your sleep you bury the tedious question of what you lived for that day and what you’re going to live for tomorrow.” Ivan Goncharov
All the discussions we have that are centered around being satisfied are just words. It appears that we understand what it is we need to alter to be content, but we are simply too entrenched in our old way of thinking. So instead we talk about lessening our burdens, eating healthier and spending more time with the family. Our intentions are awesome, but they are more like those New Years’ resolutions that fall by the wayside by the end of January.
I am not trying to block our ideas about bettering our lives. Making resolutions is wonderful and necessary to begin anything new. I just believe, at least for myself, that I must attempt to act on them immediately before I give up on them or give in to the temptations of letting them go. Nobody plans on stopping their good intentions. It happens when our old way of thinking creeps in and nudges us to take care of this and that before we attend to our home and family ideas. Of course, the more we attend to what we perceive as the necessary agenda, the little time we have leftover to get the good intentions working.
How many times we pick up fast food because we are running late and the kids need to get to sports, drawing, or music appointment. We excuse ourselves this one time because the meeting ran late. We resolve to do better next week. As days and months pass, we just dash our intentions. They just can’t jive with our lifestyle at the moment. I can’t express how many times I have said when things calm down, I will do this or that. When I do repeat this phrase out loud things only get more complicated. I can then blame all my responsibilities for failing my resolutions. It becomes my lifestyles’ fault for my inability to stick with my promises.
I appreciate my good intentions and those of others. Now I want to focus on reaching objectives and goals because day after day, I see the need to recognize what matters in my life. No wonder the elderly hate being old and feeling useless and depressed. Most people consider them outdated and helpless. Yet if any of us are confined to the house or can’t get involved in a work project, we feel denied or mistreated. Likely if we had more respect for people of all ages, genders, etc. we would not have any complaints about getting older. It would appear more comfortable to mention to an older person, “how about if you sit and do this job because I know it hurts your legs to stand, but you are competent in achieving this task.
There is also an issue with believing that if we sign our kids up for various entertainment, somehow, we are passing parenting with flying colors. Possibly those that can’t afford to bring their kids on numerous vacations or sign them up for camps of any kind get the feeling they are failing their children. My sense is neither is failing their kids unless they are ignoring them and not spending time talking with their children. Interacting with kids is vital for their emotional health. The small things we say and do with our kids are priceless. The interchange of words, ideas, problems, and fears can result in a reduction of their anxieties. When we hear of kids feeling depressed and anxious, we can appreciate the importance of spending time with kids rather than more money or entertainment.
Finding occasions for the family is crucial. Most of us admit we don’t have the spare intervals. Now my answer is to make the time and mark the family needs as urgent. I think more marriages and child problems would be solved because we paid better attention to issues before they became critical problems to resolve. I’d rather deal with discussions and ideas and arguments instead of waiting for the ball to drop and then having to fix whatever went wrong. At that point, I might have to spend weeks dealing and fixing something critical that developed out of something that was initially minor.
How do we get so busy? I reflected on my schedule and realized that we value work, getting ahead, earning degrees, and gaining money. These are all material gains. Most of us don’t think about human rewards or accomplishments. We honestly believe that they just happen, and kids will forever love us, and our spouses will always understand when we don’t make time for them. Our friends will continually like us even when we focus on having much more material wealth which has now reached an obsession.
The truth is our kids perhaps get into more trouble, seek other more uncaring people to confide in, and probably lose faith and trust in us. They learn how to become like us in the scheme of life. Some kids choose a path far different from their parents’ lifestyle. We might find they don’t make time for us anymore when they are teens and even when they are adults. Our spouses become people we don’t understand anymore. We see changes in them but miss the ones in ourselves. They appear to be selfish and distant, as well as being only interested in their own needs. We have stopped working as a team and became individual entities striving towards our personal goals.
Some of us might have jumped on the plane. Our spouse is flying and directed towards whatever our spouse wants. We are not thinking or speaking up for ourselves in that situation. No matter what material item I have ever purchased, I must admit that it never ended up being as awesome as I thought it would be. It lost its’ sparkle quickly. Sometimes I swept any thoughts of the item out of my head because being a waste of money made me feel even worse. What I gained out of all of this was what remains in my heart forever. I found it to be those things I ignored the most. My resolutions to spend more time with the family were the best things I could have done and enjoyed doing the most. Sometimes we don’t sense the reasons our spouse wants certain things and why our children desire to keep us closer.
Personally, the sentiments that filled my soul had so much more to do with inner requirements than outer desires. It seems easy to profess but not so easy to explain to someone who is still strategically trying to move ahead in their lives. Moving ahead to them is making money and earning titles. If I have so many degrees and accomplishments, and so do you, why would I be impressed with yours? All I would be interested in discussing was my own perceived accomplishments when it was my turn to speak. I do not impress anybody, and neither are they. Yet we pride ourselves on these successes.
If someone were to ask us what we did with our lives, we would be tossing out achievements. How about having and enjoying a great marriage and awesome children and a happy home environment. That likely would not be considered relevant unless we seriously review what is appropriate. Maybe it is time to think about that for a moment. Where did we relax and have fun? Where were we not judged and could be ourselves? Where did we receive the support and backing to keep moving ahead? Where were our happiest moments spent?
It is time to open our eyes to what is real and what is fake. Clothes, degrees, fortune, fame, travel and useless objects are not where it is at. Figuring out what counts brings peace and serenity. The deadlines are gone, and the competition is over. The need to defame others and outsmart them ends as well as the gossiping. The time spent on useless games and masks renders us more time for the essential things like home and family. No wonder there are so many breakups. We just don’t value what is priceless and within our reach. Take more than a moment to view your life and treasures and be thankful for both before your time to enjoy them runs out.
“Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability.
Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.”
“Not only is there often a right and wrong, but what goes around does come around, Karma exists, chickens do come home to roost, and as my mother, Phyllis, liked to say, “There is always a day of reckoning.” The good among the great understand that every choice we make adds to the strength or weakness of our spirits—ourselves, or to use an old-fashioned word for the same idea, our souls. That is every human’s life work: to construct an identity bit by bit, to walk a path step by step, to live a life that is worthy of something higher, lighter, more fulfilling, and maybe even everlasting.” Donald Van de Mark