Yesterday I turned 40. I remember being a kid and thinking 40 is old and yet here I am and to be honest, I don’t feel very old. Sure, I have quite a few gray hairs, a bigger gut, tons of responsibility; my muscles don’t heal quite as quickly as they used to, but deep down inside… I’m still a kid. I still get excited when I get a new toy (although my toys now cost more money and usually require insurance), I still like to dress up at Halloween, still love dueling it out with a light saber, and I still wonder what I am going to be when I grow up.
Wait a minute, I’m 40.. Isn’t that grown-up?
Then I look back and stand in awe of the many giants that came before me. People like Thomas Jefferson, who before the age of 40 had already been the governor of Virginia and written the Declaration of Independence. Isaac Newton had already developed the Theory of Color and developed the blueprint for what became the modern refracting lens telescope. Shortly before turning 40 Nicolaus Copernicus developed the concept of a heliocentric universe (meaning the earth was not the center of the universe). So for all intents and purposes, I have a bit of catching up to do if I want to achieve greatness.
Life is a gift. When we consider the number of people who have lived before us and especially when we consider the countless numbers that never even had the chance to live. Our bodies are constantly producing the ingredients to produce life and when that is taken into consideration the birth of a human being is a rare event.
Life is fragile. So many things can go wrong during the day that can cut our lives short and any number of things can prevent us from waking up in the morning, so we should make the most of each and every day. We should also be very conscious of how we take care of ourselves. We can’t expect to live long lives if we don’t take care of ourselves.
Life comes with a price. Throughout the course of humanity there have existed many religions. All of which have taught in some form or fashion that we owe our existence to the gods. Some have taught that sacrifices, whether animal or even human, have been required to appease the gods or atone for our transgressions. In a less subtle way of putting it, in order for all of us to live somewhere something else had to die. Whether it was a cow that became a steak dinner or a carrot that was uprooted to be a side dish, something has to die for you to live.
Life is a quest. Like all quests there a peaks and valleys, easy paths and rough terrain. I often wonder what the point of it all is. We are born, we live a little while, and then we die. The overwhelming majority of people who die are eventually forgotten no matter how famous or how great their accomplishments were. We all struggle and we all should strive to continue the quest and not give up. Even if there doesn’t seem to be a point in it at all. In this quest it is important to not be self-centered or use a winner-take-all approach. For some reason we have an altruistic nature that when tapped into can be very fulfilling and very rewarding.
We are all one; one with each other and one with the universe. The more we neglect our connection the more distant we become from our true reality. If more people took a walk along the beach or hiked along a mountain stream more often they would be able to reconnect more to that essence of life and rediscover their very source and essence of being. With all the pain and suffering in the world over whose interpretation of God is right, I often wonder the last time anyone really tried reconnecting with God. Many people turn to religious texts and prayer, but why rely on ancient interpretations of God and morality or the automatic recitations of old poems? The True Word of God lies within the greatest expression of Divine Intervention. You find this all around you, from the drunken man in the streets to a waterfall in a secluded forest. Some things are obviously more desirable than others, but all that exists came from one source. Whether you accept the evidence that supports the Big Bang Theory or whether you believe that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” the fact remains the same. All that exists has a common origin and as such all is one. This can even be loosely expressed that we are all of one body and while the right hand may not control what the left hand does, our eyes still water if we touch a hot stove.