Are you happy? Seriously, are you truly happy? Can you put your hand on your heart and state quite categorically that everything you have done in your life and everything you’ve achieved has made you whole? Not too many of you out there can claim such enlightenment, and to be honest, perhaps there is not one person on this planet who can do so, without considering some regrets and admitting to some failings in the time they have spent trying to attain that ‘greatness and fulfillment’ we all so crave. The fact of the matter is, that you really can live a completely different life to the one you probably lead today, without even knowing it or indeed trying it. So many of us are wrapped in this rat race we can never win. Too many of us will try to win it, without actually realizing that succeeding is a complete impossibility. Just look around you. I challenge you to do the following.
1 Take a note and make a list of every single item you use each day on a regular basis. Now, just to give you a clue, clothes do not count, because you use different clothes every day. A toothbrush counts, because you will use that twice a day, every day, unless you have bright yellow teeth, bad breath and are in need to visit your local dentist to have all 12 cavities filled from lack of dental care. The point of making such a list is to alert you all to a quick realization that there is not too much that matters in life. In fact, the only important thing in this life is that NOTHING is really that important.
We all go about our daily lives in search of this ‘ultimate satisfaction’ which we seem to find in things that we buy rather than in people that we invest our time with, making a total mockery of the reasons we are here on earth in the first place. Think back to the Stone-age and the impression we have been given by our peers that ‘caveman’ sat around with this killer instinct, hoping that food would pass his simple cave dwelling. When it did, he jumped out, killed it, ate it, and sat around waiting for his next meal to come by. I can hear you all saying, “well, what’s changed?” As time progressed, we as mankind found various ways to make sitting around in our caves more palatable. We invented all sorts of different distractions, such as shoes, clothes, knives, soap, etc, enabling us to find peace, at least mentally, within every breath we took and the knowledge that distractions of the material kind could help us pass time before time passed us. But did any of these additions really change our animal instincts and ability to live peacefully and harmoniously with one another? No way! In fact, things went from bad to worse, and we just carried on creating a society where more is always better. There’s always a need to acquire that latest greatest new invention, just to pacify any void that might have appeared in the daily grind we all live through, which, if you think about it, is not too far away from ‘caveman’ all those thousands of years ago, other than we all now have heating and air conditioning, along with carpets and Nike’s.
2 Sit back and ponder life without a community surrounding us. It’s hard to imagine, right? But what if it didn’t exist and we all lived alone? Just like they do in remote areas of Alaska and other unpopulated parts of this planet? Once you imagine life without neighbors, other families, local restaurants and other amenities, it’s hard to decide if this would be idyllic or a real pain in the butt? Probably both, but my point is, if we so crave these communities and amenities, then why do we try so hard to disrespect them with all this unnecessary violence and corruption that is wrecking our cities today? Have people lost all place of common sense and courtesy? Where does it end? When we are finally all driven into that ultimate isolation, will we all be happier and more content than we are today?
You probably all came on here expecting my usual crass humor, but once in a while serious conversation is required to instill into people, that life is very short, very profound and certainly very well worth living, only it’s abused and absolutely taken for granted by the majority of us. By making a list of what you use every day, perhaps not immediately, but sometime in the not to distant future, you will see that there are very few items you need to survive on a daily basis. And by seizing on my comments relating to community and togetherness, perhaps a little more respect might sprout from any thoughts that one day said communities will not even exist. That would be very sad indeed.
And so, with profound respect for my readers, I have decided to publish the items I use every day, just to get you started. Let me know if you use more or less than I do and please remember the next time you venture out to purchase, what you will obviously believe to be a necessity, sit down and ask one simple question, “do I really need this?”
That is it! Everything else changes, depending on the day, the season and the time. Oh, and BTW, I don’t wear a watch.
Simplicity often rules, sadly though, not often enough.
Perhaps the Dali Lama has it right, and perhaps we all have it wrong. One brown cloak and a few morsels of bread and happiness and enlightenment will be found in belief alone.