“I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever looked around and wondered why every individual is glued to his social gadget? You may dismiss it as a normal routine, but it signifies a great behavioural aberration. We’re all missing out on a life that is unfolding in front of us, one that is so wonderful and yet won’t be there later on.
It’s not that digital communication is bad — it’s just that it can’t replace the bustling, lively in-person interactions. Once in a moment of privacy, I looked to see whether anyone else realised the sun’s golden glow, but everyone seemed to be shuffling in great hurry, most with their eyes fixed on the ground, confused and dazed, immersed in the smartphones. They were all oblivious of the beauty and trance of that wondrous hour.
Life’s gifts are precious and abundant — but we are too heedless of them. In the bustle of our everyday strife, we fail to understand the world when it beckons us to savour its wonders. Referring to the whole paradox, Thomas Merton describes the rush and pressure of modern life as a form of contemporary violence. He says, “… to be surrendering to too many demands, too many concerns, is to succumb to the violence.”
At times likes this we must remember this old advice: Never be too busy to deprive yourself of the wonder and the awe of life. Be reverent to each moment. Embrace each wonderful hour. Seize each golden minute. Even ordinary things have the power to touch and elevate our heart. We are here on earth as voyagers — we must relish every moment of our journey.
The next time you’re on a bus, try watching people who are sitting beside you on your commute. Strike up a conversation with them. Who knows — they might say something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Don’t cocoon yourself like most vanilla people. Develop diversity in feelings and emotions. Don’t spend your time double tapping a picture of friends laughing together when you could be laughing with someone in real life. It’s not that we enjoy the enormous time-suck that digital life has become. It’s not that we prefer to look down at a three-inch screen instead of at the world around us. It’s just that the compulsion to stay connected is a habit that’s become hard and awe must learn to break it!
Life is pulsating all around you. Don’t look down — you might miss it. And remember, you will never get it back. Don’t allow our life to get automated through chips and controlled by bits and bytes.
Pause for a moment beside a tree and savour its verdant leafy munificence. Look at the humble serenity of a flower, the vibrant rainbow of a butterfly. Spare them some moments of silent thought. Try to be in love with your life and with the present moment so deeply that you make complete peace with whatever is unfolding. Open your heart so deeply to where you are that you truly feel you don’t want to be anywhere but here. This is true living. This is where you find all you are seeking. These moments reassure us that the world is in harmony with its denizens. It is only humans who have lost their rhythm. As the Buddha proclaimed, “As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise, you will miss most of your life.”.