(Image from http://www.eddierovero.org)
I read a facebook post today. After reading it I needed to write something.
Here it is:
No matter how much we might like to judge our own worth (and others’) on what we own and what we can afford to do, it becomes more and more obvious along the road that these things are distractions at best. All that effort spent doggedly chasing status symbols! All that time lost chasing lumps of metal and pieces of paper! All the while thinking that it counts somewhere and to someone! All that time not really taking the time to think deeply about much at all really!
Until one day, when we see it all clearly, and we realise with shame what a complete balls we have made of the time and opportunity that was given to us. All that time, what was really important was waiting around for us to stop and notice.
You know? I reckon there are peels of laughter in the corridors at our expense when we do that: When we shuffle slack jawed and with glazed gaze towards the prizes dangled in front of us. We sell ourselves short if we sell our lives to get such things.
The words of Cat Stevens come to mind (yes, I know, it dates me):
“Work hard boy, you’ll find, someday you’ll have a job like mine
but I know, for sure, nobody should be that poor
to say yes, sink low, because you happen to say so”. (Recalled from memory – not bad after 40 years)
Could it be, those things we are encouraged to lust after: Those cars, houses, and holidays, those whatever . . . are merely distractions? Could it be they are just shiny lights? Could it be instead of enriching our lives, they suck the life out of us? Could it be that dedicating our lives to chasing these things that promise everything leaves us nothing worth much of anything?
The glittery things that promise us meaning and significance, instead end up leaving us as thin and pointless as the pages of Gourmet Diner magazines. Chasing money we neglect our relationships. Longing for exclusivity we are not aware of the beauty everywhere around us. Turning our noses up at simplicity we never come to appreciate what makes us human. Setting a course for affluence we can easily end up losing sight of ourselves.
I think you would have a hard time finding words like “humility” or “contentment” in Better Homes or Executive Lifestyle magazines. They are not trend words. There are no corporate entry tickets or platimun frequent flyer coupons to being happy in ourselves and at peace with others.
Anyway, back to the facebook post:
“No matter how big your house is,
how recent your car is,
or how big your bank account is,
our graves will always be the same size.
Amen from me.
Don’t get me wrong. Hard work is good. But what that hard work is directed towards matters. Otherwise all we do is spin our wheels.