Over the past few days, the transience of life has been brought very forcibly to the forefront of my mind. Maybe it’s the new streak of grey in my beard, or the news of yet another young acquaintance who is no more, or it’s the startling realization that the kids who were born the year I completed undergrad study are all knocking on the door of their teenage years…. The various random thoughts coursing daily through my head have agglomerated around three key concepts – Cogitation, Connection and Contribution.
Every system has its laws, its rules of engagement if you like, that govern the interactions between the elements thereof. Classical mechanics obeys Newton’s Laws of motion, planetary motion accedes to Kepler’s laws and Computational fluid dynamics agrees with the Navier-Stokes equations. Life, also has laws that govern it – sowing and reaping, absolute standards of good and evil and the like. The difference between a rigid body and a human being is the power to choose. To achieve long term success in life, we need to identify these laws (by deeply pondering them) and choose to align with them. Consider the first idea for life as an invitation to cogitate on the axioms of life.
Whilst each life is different in its specifics, the same basic issues crop up – relationships, careers, hurts in the past, trepidation about the future and the like. I would aver, that no matter how complex a situation appears to be, it is amenable to the relentless massaging that breaks it up into manageable bits. Consider the second idea for life as an invite to collaborate globally. Read books, talk to people, use the internet. It is more likely than not someone somewhere has had the same or similar issue and you can glean ideas to help you tide over your own specific situation.
We live in a real world – specific people that we see and relate to. Consider the third idea as an invitation to contribute locally. Each experience we go through adds to or subtracts from us – knowledge, toughness and possibly the ability to empathize with someone else in our real worlds. We need to contribute to the lives in our world as opportunties present themselves. We do not need to wait for the mega outreach to an impoverished African country to make a difference. Do it for the person next door who is hurting. As you learn by doing it on a small scale, opportunties for larger scale contributions will come.
May I offer you a tagline: Think Truly, Collaborate globally and contribute locally.
On this day that Jade Goody passed on, David’s prayer in Psalm 90:12 reverberates in my head.
So teach us to number our days, that we might apply our heart to wisdom…..