Life. For all we, as humans know, exists in only one place; a pin-prick of light in a solar system revolving around a less-than-average sized star on the outer fringes of a galaxy we have barely come to understand in its fullest. And yet, we cannot set aside our differences to protect the one place in the universe that we can irrefutably call home. Whether those differences are religions, squabbles over land and or power of a crumbling third world country, or even disputes as petty as who left the toilet seat up? We burden ourselves so much with the worries and troubles of those around us that we are not able to live life to the fullest, to make what we can with what little time on the speck of sand on which we live, in the beach of our universe.
Perhaps that is what makes us human, the ability to share feelings and experiences with those around us. Many scholars have devoted their lives to discover what it means to “be human” while I am certain many would agree with the statement above. Other, more philosophical persons would state the cause of those feelings, the driving force that propels us into the need to feel, the need to want to help others, the need to love is the soul. Without it we would be but shells, unable to feel happy, angry, or otherwise going from day to day with only the compulsion to do what is needed; like bees in a hive.
Personally, I would like direction in my life. However I do not believe in fate, rather that I was brought into this world and the experiences and challenges I face shape my life, not some four letter word powered by an invisible, all-knowing force. I do not mock religions based on the idea of fate or more specifically Karma. For those religions, as well as nearly all religions past and present, believe there is some sort of life after death. When faced with the question of “Where do you think you will go when you die?” I believe you would go wherever you hold to be the most beautiful place dear to your heart. A place of fond memories such as Christmas time at your grandmother’s house, the smell of fresh baked goodies lingering in the air. Or perhaps atop a mountaintop in Northern New Mexico staring out across the horizon for hundreds of miles all the while standing next to four of your closest friends.
I believe life is too short to let petty grumbles get in the way of achieving something worthwhile in life. Make the most of your life with what you have. Fulfill your soul to limits of its creation, make others feel happy, not just yourself. In return your soul will return to that place of peace, joy and serenity, the place you hold most dear in your life and then and only then will you truly understand your short time on that tiny speck of light called Earth.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.