Friday, October 28, 2011

What matters in the end?

As crazy as this may sound,
one of the things of which I am most grateful for is my recent auto-immunity illness Grave's Disease.
The impact of Grave's disease in my life, despite the everpresent physiological discomforts,
has been largely on a psyhological  and spiritual level.
Grave's is my liberator; one who has since the onset of  illness, amplified my awareness of mortality.
Grave's is the welcome harbinger of my impending demise.
We all know that we will not be here forever.
Still there is a difference between knowledge and awareness.

Studies have shown that most people romantically assume they will live to be a hundred.
Most people assume that good health is the guarantee for longevity.
Most (healthy)people regard a long life as a given and in doing so, take life for granted:
After all there's plenty of time, right?
Ofcourse every single one of us has a time-bomb ticking away.
All Grave's has done was to somewhat substantiate mine:
A small chunck of the primal, collective Time-Bomb-For-All-Life-Forms;
a minute grain of that quietly ubiquitious and amorphous Certainty, has become customized to fit me.
Its silence traded for a subtle but audible tick-tack.
On discovering that Grave's was to become a lifetime companion, I experienced a soul-shaking epiphany.
I experienced a rare feeling of true freedom.
I fully understood the meaning of *The Principle of Reverse.
For the first time ever, it truly dawned on me, it hit me with full force that I was free to live my life exactly as I wanted.
It truly hit me that I no longer wanted to waste precious time on all things irrelevant or inconsequential;
on dogmas, superficiality and petty grievances.
I no longer wanted to waste precious time on society's litany of rules based on fear and mediocrity.
It hit me that we are entirely powerless and profoundly vulnerable.
We have absolutely no say in the matter regarding the longevity of our lives; healthy or otherwise.
The thought that every moment could be my last has given new meaning to the word exhilarating.
At the doorsteps of death, I actually discovered life.

It hit me that all we can do is to ** decide what to do with the time that we have been given.
It hit me that my only true desire is to live a fulfilled life based wholly on my own terms.
Shortly afterwards I came accross the words below.
The message they convey, encapsulate my views on the value of life entirely.

"For each of us eventually, whether we are ready or not,
someday it will come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won't matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived at the end.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So, what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built.
Not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every active integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many people will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you".

"A life that matters is not of circumstance but of choice." 

                                                     - The Beautiful Truth

* "Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand The Principle of Reverse"From Maya Angelou's I know Why The Caged Bird Sings. 
** Gandalf to Merry in The Return of the king. Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who cares about Steve Jobs?

When Steve died, I was among the multitude that mourned his demise. As with the death of every notable person in history, his fans and foe gave and gave and gave his passing the most precious commodity of our times: ATTENTION.

Shortly after his death I discovered these pictures above. Yes, how painfully true. Why all this attention for one life and none for the unsung millions passing quietly in swarms everyday into the afterlife?

The answer is not blowing in the wind.

 The answer lies in our over-consumptive  society.
 Steve we love you because your technology created instruments that enhance and fuel our addiction and love for things.
Through your gifts to mankind, our aptitude for consuming and our discard-after-use mentality have grown to explosive heights.
We have learned to love things even more than we love people.

Poor Steve. Nobody is mourning you as a person. They are all mourning the loss of an icon. The god of material things. If you stayed a nobody and maybe had a job as a janitor at some obscure little company (Apple?), I wonder how many people would notice your passing.

Your intimi mourn the loss of a father, husband and friend.
The world mourns the loss of what you contibuted to her material wealth.

Everyday multitudes are dying because our love for things make us and our governments boggle up our priorities so that somewhere somehow, someone else pays the bills big time.
Unimportant people are dying everyday, because we USE them to dig up the right metals needed to create that newest version of yet another gadget which we looooove so much.

As Michael Jackson ironically put it when speaking up for the millions who somehow failed to get the chance to become mini Steve Jobses:

"All I wanna say is that they don't really care about us".