I'm away, but I wrote this before I went:
I have variously spent parts of my life chasing cash, prestige, experience. I have come up with ideas of what life is for, and clinged to them, perhaps because it is to frightening to admit that I just don't know. Why was I born? Why will I die? What am I for? Many times in my life, I've run from these questions.
But if I at least admit that these questions exist, instead of trying to push them away, maybe I can take less seriously my want for more things, more stuff. Maybe I can see that assuming that satiating my many desires my not be the real meaning of my life. And if I can see that, then maybe I may not need take from the planet what it cannot sustainably give me.
Maybe, too, I can see that we're all in this same boat--not knowing where we've come from and where we're going. Maybe that might make me feel a little more compassion for you and your plight, and maybe then, too, I might feel a little responsibility for you, since you are probably just about as lost as I am. Maybe then, I might conclude, that whatever this thing called life is, the best thing to do with it is to help each other get through it.
Which leads me to an ancient Zen poem called The Human Route:
Coming empty-handed, going empty-handed--that is human.
When you are born, where do you come from?
When you die, where do you go?
Life is like a floating cloud which appears.
Death is like a floating cloud which disappears.
The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.
Life and death, coming and going, are also like that.
But there is one thing which always remains clear.
It is pure and clear, not depending on life and death.
Then what is the one pure and clear thing?
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.