Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Philosophy”

A Simple Grain Of Sand

I have learned, never take a day for granted. My dad used to say “the world is your oyster”. There are plenty of pearls I suppose out there. But it all starts with a grain of sand.

Microscopic view of sand on the beach

Microscopic view of sand on the beach

Our lives have to mean something while we are here on earth. The one grain of truth can be shared to make a beautiful thing or can ignite hate and fear. One simple thought can generate the grace of the spirit or  it could be something that contributes to the darkness of wasted time and an energy that leads nowhere.

So we have a choice, to make the best of each day whether it starts with the smallest things or is full of events that make up your life. Staying at home behind your doors and drowning in the circumstance of life can waste away the gift of the time we have  and wear away at the spirit of our being.

So whatever life we have left ( a minute, a day, a year, many years?) is ours to do with what we want. Choose grace. Choose to let each grain of sand become a pearl that will last much longer than you will be allowed. It is what matters most I think. Of course that depends on your perspective.

Contradiction

We all get them… There are a lot of mixed messages in today’s’ world.

contradiction-300x252

A lot of it is the fact that we live in the “information age”  I think. It happens all around us. No matter what we see or hear, there seems to be a question of reality. We read news, we track social networks, we watch media provide up to the minute real-time events in our living room.

What we see can sometime contradict what we believe is true, and still we may tend to deny what our eyes are seeing.There are other times we see  or read something, that won’t validate what we want to believe so we will dismiss it. It contradicts our beliefs and then we are not going to accept the evidence.

There are a lot of people who outwardly say sincerely that they care about people and causes. But  their actions contradict that. They follow their religious or personal philosophies, but only when it fits in their lives.   Like the message of LOVE and the practice of HATE. They may be saying that people “in need” should be helped, but shouldn’t help them in any way even if they are provided many opportunities.  I guess almost all of us need to work harder all the time to focus on people in-need.

It is easy to say and do things that don’t make sense to everything else in our lives. It can be the principle of the moment and long-term it doesn’t play out. But there are many times I think I need to stop and review what is “in-coming” in my life and make sure I am convicted to the “outcome” – and not contradict myself.   Does that happen in your life, too?

Meaning

Meaning. A big word that means a lot.  People are looking for meaning in life, and wanting meaning in what they do.  I know it is important to me, and it seem to be that every one is seeking it.

Where is the Love

Maybe it is a meaning for the job? After getting paid, it would be nice to know that you are a contributor, that you make a difference in the job, that you get recognized for the work you have done.

Maybe it is understanding “why” – defining the  meaning to injustice in our lives and the world around us, the unfair things that happen to others, to you. Understanding why people are violently hurting each other, hating each other, making life miserable for others.

It could be the ultimate “meaning of life“- looking for the spiritual center. Are we really only on earth for such a short time only to have it all end? Is there something more? What are we supposed to do while we are here on earth? (that is a topic for another day, but it is clear then that eternity matters most).

People want meaning in their lives too. So many want to mean something to someone. To the ones they love, to their family and friends.  They want to be significant in their lives.

There is the gallant goal of doing something meaningful (good or bad) in life.  Showing mankind that you have something more to give can make for a lifelong task. Sometimes achieved, sometimes never reached. Not all the heavy stuff of Kant’s enlightenment or something. Just searching.

So in the end- what is that driving meaning in your life?  Can you reach for it? Is it elusive or in-reach? Are you always looking elsewhere and not right in front of you? It can be so simple I think, yet so difficult to find. It can be a daily driving force. A preoccupation that can consume us.  It can find us somewhere in a “hollow” place, It can be infinitely rewarding.

Here’s my take on it:   Look for it in the closest places. In your heart not your mind, in the eyes of others, in the places that provide peace in your life. Look for it in God, look for it in the air you breathe. Breathe in.  The meaning is there.

The Results of a Job Well Done

Hallway DeepI have been away from blogging lately because my wife and have been working on a major home remodeling project. The end result will be to make our home more comfortable and attractive of course; more to our liking to make those casual days at home provide more pleasant surroundings.

But we also realized something else when we most recently spent a holiday weekend (3 days) working hard on the project at hand. Working hard for those changes also meant a new change for our environment, but also a great feeling of accomplishment.  Sure you can get the reward of accomplishment at work or school, and those too can be satisfying. But also making your “living space” more personal, more “you” – and working hard to do it has its own reward.

There are weekends when we spend the entire weekend being as casual as we can- “at rest” and we know that we have earned it after a long week of work and errands. So we appreciate it and make sure we do those things that are worthy of the casual time we had invested. After-all, after the weekend it will be back to work… back to focusing on earning our keep, taking on the responsibilities we have become accustomed.

But its interesting that the results of the work-filled weekend of projects has some feeling of satisfaction that is equal to (maybe even more than) the casual weekends we have spent. A moment to stand-back and admire the sweat equity of our labor. We have made improvements to our nest, we have increased our comfort. Some long hours of making things better for the sake of “us”- not for the earnings, not for the rewards for recognition from others. Simply for the knowing that we have produced a “job well done” and we get to embrace the rewards we have created … whew.

Conditions and Compromise

Unconditional Love

It’s interesting how often these days interaction with someone can always come to “certain conditions”. Doing favors or helping someone with something can end up as a negotiation of sorts. Sort of the payback for things that are done.

The idea of “unconditional” love and friendship is still alive I think, It is definitely a spiritual center we all need to achieve. It makes our lives less complicated in a way.  It is the grace of God. Yet it seems like there are days where things only happen under certain terms.

There are a lot of conditions in life. Sort of like: “I can help you with your problem, but IF I do you need to help me with mine.” Negotiation isn’t always bad, but it will struggle to lead to longer term relationships

Conditional love is the hardest one to cope with.  Like trying to earn someone’s love and attention, it comes with a price. It has a manipulating qualifier to it. I will love you, if only you would be more attentive to my needs. I will love you if only you make enough time for me to do what I want to do.

It goes on and on : I will love you if you  a) lose weight b) gain status, c) dress a certain way, d) be friends with the people I am friends with, e) NOT be friends with the people you are friends with. f) like the colour “blue” – or hundreds upon hundreds of other conditions.

There is something about compromise in a relationship (which is healthy) that can spill over into conditions. When it does there may not be an immediate way to recognize it. But it exists. And over time it can lead to resentment, to disillusion that ends in someone being very hurt.

So I always give my kids that advice, Be sure to “be yourself” and be aware of the difference between compromises in a relationship and conditions.

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