I was driving into work today and I starting thinking about the great divide between our daily assumptions and the reality of existence. In order to feel secure and happy we see things as permanent and stable, when in fact everything we encounter is anything but.
I’m driving a newer car these days and in the middle of summer I had no way of knowing that this would be the case. I got in and out, drove here and there, believe that this is how life is, forgot how life used to be, and didn’t give it much thought of what things would one day be. But I think we should. We should because that will help to shake our complacency and love people more instead of things.
I’m not talking about selfish people here, who want to amass riches in order to lord it over others and live a fleeting but pleasure seeking life. I’m describing here myself and anyone else who has a kind heart and goes about their daily business of living. This message is for all of us because it is so easy to forget and get wrapped up in things that don’t really matter.
I have been in far too many discussions and arguments over things that either don’t happen or don’t much matter once they happen then I care to remember. I think this is just part of being human. It is our human condition that serves us well because it focuses us on not perishing, but not perishing is not the ultimate goal of living. Eating prevents us from dying, but eating doesn’t give us a reason to live.
The reason to live is often forgotten, or hidden out of our view when we try to meet deadlines and put pressure on ourselves of one kind or another.
The best way I combat this is with silence. I will come out and admit it that I drive my car in silence most days. Just me and my car and the humming of the engine and the nose of the rubber meeting the road. This allows my thoughts to drift to things that are important. I don’t think about what I need to do next. I save that for the coffee shop and make a list of things I need to do in a prioritized order for the week. But those moments of silence are special. They are not easy to carve out in the day but they can happen at any time. Taking our dog for a walk, or driving home in silence. It doesn’t matter how it happens but just that it does happen.
Loving people and living life meaningfully is worth it. There are no short cuts. We can’t just rush around hoping to stumble into something we are looking for. We have to slow down and be able to see it in order to go after it.
Love people, not things.
There is no surest way to happiness.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@mariopurisic