Wednesday, January 04, 2017

One life to live

I often refer to the fragile existence (like here or here) that we have on this "mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam," as Carl Sagan so poetically described earth.

Sometimes, the fragility is not a metaphor and is literal.  Like when my mother has a fracture and is required to be in bed for a month.  The fragility then upends daily life, which we otherwise take for granted.

Especially as I have gotten older, I have come to believe without any doubt that if we understood this fragility, and did not take our existence and our daily life for granted, then we would be a lot more understanding and cooperative and kind and compassionate.  Empathy will be in every breath that we take.  We would create a heaven right here on earth.

One of my favorite storytellers, Haruki Murakami, said it best:
Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely.
Easier said than done, I suppose; the humans that we are, well, we do everything otherwise.  More often than not, we let our inner demons take over.  We end up creating hell right here on earth, smashing into a million shards the fragile glass that is our beautiful existence.

Abou Ben Adhem
By James Leigh Hunt

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

1 comment:

Ramesh said...

Could not agree with you more.

If we just opened our eyes and looked around, we would realise how fragile, and therefore how precious, life is.

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