Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation…
even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.
Leonardo da Vinci
Strong metal when it rusts cracks and breaks easily. Water that is stagnant no longer heals but fills the human body with disease. Why shouldn’t it be the same with the human mind?
It is important to remind ourselves that we are human beings. We sometimes need to relearn that the word being means to be present, whole and in continuous unity to everything. Most of us are doers. We do things. We stick to something long enough to get it done. Or we find it too hard and so we abandon it. We let our dreams rust and stagnate, while we hop from one seemingly important thing to another.
Yet the mind is at the centre of all that we want and all that we are. It is what gives us our unique identity, what makes as different. Or at least, its what can make us different.
We have a dual nature. We are both part of the animal kingdom and because of our mind and soul, we are separate from it. Separate but equal. Meant to live in harmony with ourselves and everything else in the universe. But you cannot be in harmony if you are a pawn, a door mat, and a mind which has resigned itself to be dormant.
Everything begins and ends with our mind, with our ability to think. How we think and what we think about comes into existence. Thoughts become things. Dreams materialize into reality. Nothingness becomes somethingness. But it doesn’t happen naturally. Success and happiness don’t occur accidentally. For that you need to employ the visor of your mind.
You have to feed it with good ideas every day. You have to challenge it. Challenge yourself with interesting problems that haven’t been solved yet. Dream of things that never been. Work on solutions to problems most people are resigned to forget.
We think that knowledge is something you find in a textbook or a university classroom. Many people don’t consider themselves smart and ignore the very thing that can bring about a meaningful life and endow them with happiness.
Learning and studying is not for the geeks and nerds. It has not been set aside for the elite. Knowledge, truth and wisdom is accessible to anyone who seeks it out. The Greeks had a word for it, philosophia. Philo meaning love, and sophia meaning wisdom. There was no greater pursuit in Ancient Greece than the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. Thought and the mind was at the centre of the universe, but today we treat our mind more like a hammer or a shovel. But the mind is not a hammer of a shovel. The mind is door that connects us to everything that was, is, and will be.
If you employ, respect, and exercise your mind meaningfully, you will be able to create and shape and impact human history. Your mind can change the story you have written about yourself and write a new narrative others won’t soon forget. But it can’t do it without vigor. It can’t do it if you let it rust or stagnate, so treat it with respect, be kind to it, and seek the wisdom because that wisdom is all that is worth pursuing anyway.