As I enjoy the peace and tranquility of my “Walden Pond”, I reflect upon the wisdom of the great philosophers and thinkers who walked this earth before me. Why are we so quick to disregard, reject and forget their teachings?
Today I wish to begin the journey with you where together we choose to remember and hopefully reawaken to their teachings. In so doing, it is my hope that we may make a conscious choice to leave the world better for the next generation or as the Native Americans wisely encouraged, the next seven generations.
As I read “Walden” again by Henry David Thoreau, I am struck by his plea for us to see our world truthfully. To elect stepping off the hamster wheel of mediocrity to embrace a life of connection and awareness. A line of his that has haunted me for years states – “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”
Ugh.., I hear this reverberate everyday as I listen and observe the world around me. I take in conversations like,
“How are you today?”
“Oh, I am okay?”
“Yes, nothing bad has happened so far, so I guess it is all good.”
This is a conversation I listened to yesterday morning – seriously, that is how one embarks on the new day. A day that will never come again. Why? Why would you choose this?
Thoreau continues to discuss the psyche of the human – “Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.”
Are we unable to connect the dots of understanding that how we think directly impacts how we feel and what we create for ourselves in our lives? Can we not view the direct correlation between our happiness and how we choose to think, act and be engaged with our life?
I asked a colleague of mine the other day, “What do you wish to experience, see and or do in your life”? This question came after listening to a group of them complain about “doing another day at work”, all of them counting the hours until the day was done. His response to me, “I don’t know, I haven’t thought in years about what I would like to do or dream to create and experience.”
This is the world I am handing down to my children. This is the thinking I often experience around me as I interact with others. It saddens me very deeply, for many people choose to make Thoreau’s words correct – they live a life of “quiet desperation”, going through the motions with no passion or joy. Living a vicarious life through the actors on the television, phone or computer screen.
Perhaps it is time to recall the wisdom written and spoken by those before us. Maybe it is time to listen with our hearts, souls and mind, making new decisions that will have a ripple effect upon those who are inheriting our actions and choices.
Do you live a life of “quiet desperation’? Do you think of yourself poorly, criticizing and judging? I am curious, why would you choose this?
Until next time, may you “be the change you wish to see in the world…”!!