Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Power of Time

Time doesn't just pass -- neutrally, the same for everybody.  Some make it do something favorably, while others do things that disfavor them.  That is really the crux of aging -- that a few wear well, while many others, show a wear and tear before their time.  But it is not time itself that is a destructive force; it could also be a constructive one as well -- as some use it to build better than before, and before that, maintain what one has to optimize its use and usefulness.

That is also the story of every individual life -- as much as some would have us believe that all things in every case are equal.  People make a difference -- in every individual case.  If that were not so, then it wouldn't matter -- that one chooses better or worse.  The result would always be the same, no matter what anyone did.  But obviously and thankfully, that is not the world we live in -- that all in life is a random crapshoot -- and then you die.

That's how we all hope to make a difference -- as we live, which is also the way we die.  Those living with attention to their health and well-being, invariably see that it makes a difference -- while those doing everything to undermine themselves, may get by for a while before it all comes home to haunt them -- though it seemed at the time, that there were no consequences for imprudent choices -- the abuses that one seemed to get away with, the extra calories one could consume because it was there for the taking, the lack of exercise and other practices that one no longer did because there was nobody there to nag them anymore, or reward them for their own good.

And if nobody else cared, why should they themselves?  They never learned at some point in their lives, that nobody will care for their wellbeing, more than they will -- and that is the whole point, and not that they should be doing it for anybody else's sake.  They have to care that much about themselves.  And that makes a difference.

It is much like the miracle of compounding interest -- as a function of time.  The meaningful measure is not just what is accomplished once -- and then abandoned, or undone -- but what is sustained for as long as possible, and thus becomes one's life.  Many people will have a passing interest in many things -- mastering none of it.  Those who become very good at it, do it because that is who they are -- and not to do it, would be undermining their very reason for being.  Then if fame and fortune comes, they have already been well-rewarded by the gifts that they themselves are the greatest beneficiaries and judges of -- because nobody can appreciate that more than they can.  They are self-employed -- in the truest sense of that word -- because nobody else can do it better, than they can themselves.

That is the ultimate life -- and beyond that, are no regrets, no second-guessing -- it is a life fulfilled, which is the significance of every life -- and not just the rich and famous.  Such considerations, make it a trivial striving -- or one who has no idea what they want to do in life, except to become rich and famous.  But there will always be somebody else who is richer and more famous -- but may not be fulfilled by their own richness and self-worth -- which is to discover and create their ultimate best life.

That calling is not just for a privileged few -- but for all, in their own way -- that matters, and when that is done, there is no lack for what everybody else has done.  One has done all they could have done -- and not all the regrets for what one didn't, that accumulates over time, to produce the person one now is.  Formerly, only exceptionally "wise men" thought that way, but with increased standards of living for all, many more think that way as the new normal -- just as many more now become billionaires, and many more elders seem to defy aging as we have known it in the past.

The critical mass changes -- which makes a whole way of being -- commonplace.  But that is not because one person lives to be one thousand -- but many more live to be one hundred so the discussion shifts from quantity to quality of life.  They are no longer statistical exceptions but follow a rule -- that those living with great attention and awareness, live better lives -- and not just because it is the "right" thing to do that nobody expects anybody to.  That ship has already sailed.

It is no longer enough just to know what are the "right" things to do; the only valid question is, are you doing everything you know to be right and true?  If one is, that is the fulfillment of one's being and doing -- in the age of these unprecedented possibilities.  The greatest sorrow, is not doing so.  But what else is more important for anyone to do?  Certainly not all the other distractions -- that take one away from what is important to do.

There is just so much time.


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