Tag Archives: future

Feeding the Ducks

Feeding the Ducks

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

`Albert Einstein, via Interlude Thought of the Day on April 17, 2013

When I was a kid we would travel to my grandparents in Michigan.  On almost every trip we’d pop popcorn on the stove, put it in bags, and head to the local pond to feed the ducks.  I remember how it felt being close to these animals, to look into their eyes and try to understand what it was like living as a duck.

I can’t say that I ever really figured out what it means to be a duck, but I think it was these kinds of moments when I started to gain an understanding that I wasn’t that different. They got hungry just like me, and seemed to enjoy the popcorn just like me.  Some of them would sleep or warm themselves in the sun, just like I enjoyed the warmth of the sun on a chilly day.  They were alive and part of the world, and there I was connecting with them (albeit through bribery!).

I’m not sure if the little kid above is having a similar experience, but I hope that he’s starting to recognize what Einstein did.

Have a great weekend!

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Special

My grandfather lived into his early 90’s.  He was a lifelong learner with incredible curiosity and passion for life.  After he passed we were going through the items in my grandparents apartment and we came across this piece of paper:

asanas

An asana, at least in the west, is typically defined as a body position, often within the practice of yoga.   Based upon the location and placement with other papers, it was clear that this was a recent project.  Not once had my grandfather spoken of a yoga practice, and yet, here is a man in his late 80’s or early 90’s taking the time to develop a practice.

I’ll never know if his intent was to improve physically, spiritually, or both, but I take from this piece of paper the lesson that we’re never too old to learn something new.  We’re never too old to begin a new practice or skill.  As long as we remain curious, passionate, and engaged, we continue to grow.

That’s why this piece of paper is my answer to Across the Bored’s question, “What is special for you?”

The faces of two females, one old and one young cheek to cheek

Becoming Grown Up

In response to the Daily Post writing prompt on March 6, 2013.

Prompt:  When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

Where do we draw the line between youth and grown-up?  For me, there have been several moments when I realized that I was getting older:  marriage, gray hair, the first college intern I worked with and discovered that I was old enough to be her father…the list goes on. But am I a grown-up?  I still feel an awful lot like a kid!

I think that my original understanding of what being grown-up means was flawed.  It implied a fixed period where I’d cross a line into a new reality, but nothing is that clean.  Our lives evolve based upon a series of activities.

As we grow, we learn several things from family, friends, and our cultural.  My childhood taught me that the grown-up always knows the answer, and that there is a right answer. I learned that the grown-ups get to make the rules, and that when they say something you listen and obey.  The grown-ups in my life portrayed a sense of knowledge and control, and so I had the idea that at some point life would make sense and I’d understand it.  I just needed to be patient, follow the rules, and it would all become clear.

Well, I’m guessing you know how things are turning out.  It’s rare that anyone knows the answer, and the idea of only one right answer is laughable.  I still don’t get to make the rules, and most of the time I need to do what I’m told. And that’s okay, because I now know that being grown-up really isn’t any different from being young.  There is only one difference: being a grown-up is realizing that no one gets it and that we’re all making it up as we live our lives. Some are just better actors than others.

I now have a different understanding of what it means to be a grown-up than I did when I was younger.  And, I don’t get it, and I am making it up as I live my life.  So by my current working definition, today is the day that I realized I’m a grown-up!

Photo taken from www.healthfiend.com

Image of the sign indicating that you are at the Badwater Basin

Never Say Never

In response to the Daily Post writing prompt on March 3, 2013.

Prompt: Is there a place in the world you would never want to visit? Where, and why not?

All places in the world are not created equally. There are places with extreme heat, like Death Valley, and there are places in the world with extreme cold, like the North Pole. Some are crowded, others have very few life forms. However, I cannot think of a place that I can say I would never want to visit.

Never is an absolute statement. For example, spending time in 120+ degree heat is something that I don’t think I want to do. But what if a friend decides to run the Badwater Ultramarathon and asks me to help? Though this isn’t very likely to occur, I’d consider it an honor to help a friend through this type of event and would look forward to being in this place.

If I approach the idea of going to a place from the perspective of never wanting to be there, then I’m limiting opportunities for the future. By establishing this mindset, I will limit the things I’ll do, either consciously or unconsciously. I’d rather keep my mind open to any possibility. In this way, the next minute, hour, day, week, month, year, or decade is full of all kinds of possibilities.

photo credit: jfew via photopin cc