I read a blog today that was an interesting discussion. There was much back and forth about life and death. It was quite technical. At some point a meaningful life was mentioned and it seemed to me to most participants completely let that drop for more esoteric thoughts.
I am totally concerned about life having meaning. At this time in my life I have no doubts that mine does. This may be hubris on my part but over the years I can see where something that I did or said changed something or someone. I have had people that I don’t even remember who they are come up and say that I changed their life. I can’t remember what I said or did but that doesn’t matter. Somehow, at the time, I was blessed with the right thing to say. Does this mean that I am special? No way. I was just a catalyst…a stop on the road.
For me, these are the things that make life meaningful. Was I able to help someone? Was I in the right place at the right time? Did the right things come to me out of the blue? Yes! It was not me. It was God, or a higher power, or coincidence. Whatever works for you. But this is what helps me to understand how our lives are meaningful.
Loving, giving and sharing our stories and our pains helps others along the path. Because of this I can know that even when I messed up my life has had meaning. I plan to keep on loving and giving until the day I die.
Technology is wonderful….until it isn’t. The more complex it gets the more can go wrong. I have spent three days trying to resolve a problem with my cable, phone, internet, provider. Their system has become so complex that even the people who work for them don’t know what is going on.
The first person I dealt with was in the store. A very nice person who admitted that so much had been changed with their offerings that he was unsure about what channels were available with each plan. My husband was adamant about having certain channels and we were assured that they would be there. You guessed it…they weren’t. I had a very unhappy husband when he turned the TV on.
Next I got on a chat session with another agent who assured me that adding one premium channel would fix the problem. Ha! Didn’t happen.
The next morning I again chatted with an agent. In the meantime I had spent time on the web site searching for quite a while to access the channel line up so that I knew what had to be done. I told the agent what was necessary to fix the issue. He agreed but then wanted me to sign up for home security. The total would be less that I am paying now. Because of that I agreed. He made the changes and guess what? Still no channels!
This morning I again tackled the problem with another agent on chat and wrote out step by step what I wanted done. I didn’t give him a chance to decide. By this time I could work for the company. Finally what I needed was taken care of and we are all set.
It is amazing that things have become so complicated that even the people who work with them don’t know what is going on or how to fix things. I am reasonably tech savvy and wanted to just do the fixing for them.
My level of frustration was high after all of this and I took to gardening to reach a level of calm. Potting plants can sure remove tension!
It is obvious that we learn more from the mistakes that we make than from the things we do right. It is important that we teach this truth to children. We spend a lot of time lauding success but little time talking about failure in a positive way. When children learn that only being correct on test or questions answered then they become fearful of making mistakes. They become less willing to answer or try something out.
I know it sounds crazy to reward failure and that is not really what is happening. We need to take time to discuss mistakes and errors and ask what has been learned. Someone who is more into education than me needs to come up with a curriculum that allows time to discuss “boo boo’s,” understand what they taught and maybe find amusement in them (when appropriate). This time should include the mistakes made by the teachers as examples of how everyone is included. They could discuss what might have been a better path for next time.
Maybe this way we won’t stifle creativity. Most inventions came after many failures.
I don’t believe in coincidences. For me, it seems that the things that happen are meant to be. I guess I believe in Karma, fate, destiny and the arangels. If this seems naive then so be it. So many things have happened in my life that would be incredulous without this belief.
I had retired from nursing and was just enjoying the time. One day I decided to read the newspaper. (I never do that!). Even more unbelievable I read the want ads. There was an add for a Parish Nurse. I had heard about this movement to join nursing with church life and had been very interested but never thought about actually doing it. The add asked for a reply to email which I did stating that I did not want a job but a ministry.
I was called and asked to interview. The job was part time, a two year grant to start and run a program and teach the idea across all denominations in my town. Good so far. I was then told that the pilot program would be hosted by a church where my Aunt was a member and where a “kissing cousin” worked part time as a visitation minister. I had been to that church often and in a town with many churches this was amazing.
I took the job and after two years was hired by the church to continue. Twenty years later I retired.
What is is to search for our own soul. (It doesn’t matter what you call it. It is our inner core…our best self.) How do we turn away from the things that our society has led us to believe are the ultimate good? When are we able to grow enough to cast aside the ideas that we have been taught from birth?
Most of us who have spent our lives in western society have been taught to reach for things that are finite. We look to find joy and peace in things that fade. We want everything taken care of NOW! We are impatient and want pills to cure our ills that work fast. If we feel the slightest bit bored we want entertainment that distracts us from spending time with ourselves. We want to be as beautiful at 80 as we were at 25. The look of youth is the ultimate. We want things to feed our emptiness with…cars, jewelry, clothes, electronics, houses….anything to make us important. We want to seem important, looked up to and emulated. We think that these will be fulfilling. They won’t. Their rewards to us are ephemeral.
Turning away from these illusions and seeking the soul itself is a challenge. Can we go against society and understand that love and compassion and empathy and generosity are what matters? These are eternal.
Seek inside yourself for the things that really matter and pursue them.