We go about our lives with the concurrent backdrop of the passing of time that forces upon change onto everything and everyone, despite our conditioned human perception that may lead us to believe in the contrary. Change is the only constant, and how we manage through different stages of life is a strong determinant of how we derive meaning, fulfillment, and happiness from our experience on this planet. Sharing the memories, challenges, and successes convivially with others — be they family, friends, colleagues, classmates, seniors, juniors, and strangers of all walks of life — and their respective interactions fill our lives with color and characterize what comes from this extraordinary opportunity to exist. External circumstances outside of our control may be cause for much concern and anxiety to result in little, if any, real effect on the outcome as conveyed succinctly in the phrase “Worrying won’t change anything.” And this is something that I have certainly struggled in managing to do.
I would argue that one of the more rewarding aspects in the common thread of our humanity is in positively influencing, providing assistance, and empowering others when possible; carried out in unison with discerning prudence to avoid being exploited. Going about our lives purely with self-interests in mind and behavior to match leads to a less enjoyable and successful life in my view. A philosophical benchmark, even if imperfect and simplistic, that I strive toward is to do more good than harm over the course of our lifetime. Naturally the value of what is good depends on the person and their own abilities and motivations, and can vary in shape and form, such as, but not limited to: social action & campaigns, philanthropy, volunteering, donations, job creation through entrepreneurship, investing in start-up organizations, scientific & technological development, artistic creation of music and the arts, any number of inventions, development cooperation aid, public policy to address social issues, etc. And we should instrument such accomplishments and impact onto others through our personal sphere of influence while exemplifying integrity and demonstrating humility along the way of leaving our impression on the world.
As evoked in my previous postings, I believe in treating others first with guarded respect and civility — the “golden rule” — until led to behave otherwise. Seize the moment and act upon the means to realizing goals. Indeed, play the game of life as if you have nothing to lose. Never take anything for granted; frame circumstances in the context of life and death in order to relativize the significance, or lack thereof, of a given situation. Balance preferences and aspirations with present realities and constraints, but yield not in pursuits of ambitious goals and dreams. Take esteemed note of advice from the wisdom of elders and ignore pessimism and critics. Feel not obliged to those who do not encourage nor concern themselves of your well-being. Provide the means and support for someone to enact transformation of their comportment, yet understand that true change is actualized from within a person.
Doubt not your abilities nor mankind’s’ resilience to adversity and hardship. Seek support from peers & mentors, and remain aware that collectively we can achieve more than a lone individual — we are unable to thrive alone on an island. We are, after all, the procreation of our parents and biology dictates that we do the same to ensure our continuance. Hence the harmful effects of solitude on the human mind.
Live in the present – now – while internalizing past lessons alongside a keen understanding of the future implications that our choices may have later in life when assessing the risks and rewards of a given scenario. Events occurred in the past may serve as an important reminder and frame of reference, yet the present and future merit our attention and efforts as we have an ability (even if partial) to determine their course. Be cognizant of the sway that emotions can have in our decisions, and endeavor to unburden ourselves from hate. Relinquish past grievances, let bygones be bygones. Do one’s best to avoid “burning bridges” with others, and attempt to be more forgiving in accepting genuine, sincere apologies. We are all imperfect and have committed our own errors. Find humor in the things we encounter, no matter how big or small. And venture to not let our egos and pride prevent poking fun of ourselves as it reveals a poor sense of humor — I do realize my uncanny skill to get into peculiar arrangements, although in hindsight these instances provide substantial content for storytelling. Smile more, it elicits a release of endorphins and serotonin in our brain that makes us feel and look good — a natural drug of sorts, among the many other benefits. Endeavor to accept that things do unexpectedly happen — people lose, break, and forget things — and our curriculum vitae cannot always be planned as in a scripted Hollywood production. Our lives are too short, and in spite of the myopic human lens through which we view the world, life does continue after us, just as it did before our birth. Alas, the passing of time.
I am an avid advocate of lifelong learning and personal development in the pursuit of the betterment of ourselves. Through all of life’s peaks and troughs, I am fortunate enough to be in a satisfied and content state, which is directly and undoubtedly correlated to those around and close to me who have helped me along in a countless number of ways. For this and so much else I am ever thankful and offer my deep gratitude.
Albert Einstein was quoted as saying: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I unequivocally choose the latter.