Life is a fluke. A miracle. An unprecedented phenomenon that can never, or will never, be matched on any imaginable level. The very fact that you are currently conscious reading and understanding these letters, words and sentences is a moment in which its recipe consists of infinite combinations of abstract events happening in the right space at the right time. The optimum position of our planet in the universe; the perfect conditions on earth for life to flourish and evolve; the very fact that your parents went out to the same place on the same day and met each other. Just think: above anyone else that day, in any place, at any moment, they met each other – and you and your ridiculously complex DNA were the result. Just like they were when their parents before them met each other. And their parents. And their parents. The very fact all of these endless combinations of events led to your being on this earth means that your very existence is miraculous – a stoic defiance of the odds and the culmination of a billion unlikely things all gelling together in perfect discourse. YOU are a miracle. So revel in it. Celebrate it. Your life should be a symphony.
But it throws me – life, sometimes. It saddens me even. Amongst this grand symphony of existence on the magnificent stage of planet earth, I look around and I see so many of us consumed by mundanity, recklessly killing the precious time that has been gifted to us. I see so many of us plodding along aimlessly, burying our desires, toiling endlessly in a job that we have no interest in – contentedly dwelling in dead-end towns where nothing ever happens until our minds and bodies become old and weathered. With our precious time on this earth dissipating as we sit comfortably on a sedentary cushion, we so easily fall into the trap of drawing the curtains on our world and perpetually living a systematic and samey routine in which we let days become weeks, let weeks become months, and let months inevitably become years. So many amazing opportunities and experiences drifting on by in the great ocean of time out in this vast world – yet we don’t reach out to explore and experience. And why? Why in a universe of violent bursts and endless movement do so many of us let our lives and horizons become so static and still? Why in a world where we could explore and experience a million different things do we persist in doing the same ones week in, week out?
I don’t hasten to say it, but I believe it to be so – just because it’s EASY. It’s easy for us to get accustomed and stay in one place; it’s convenient for us to only ever interact to the same people; it’s comfortable for us to perpetually relive the same week and repeat the same habits for a lifetime. Due to the impulses of comfort, routine and security, a world can become a bubble – and eventually that bubble can become a world. A world where precious time flies by as we tumble endlessly through the vices of systematic living; a world where comfort and frivolous possessions rank higher than personal growth and experiences; a world where tabloid newspapers open and our minds close.
I know this because I’ve seen it, and I see it more vividly now than ever. After seventeen months of travelling around the world, seeing other-worldly sights, meeting hundreds of new people, sharing ideas, thoughts, language and adventures, I return home from this small lifetime to find that very little has changed. People have new shoes, but the same routine; people have new televisions but the same views; people have new cars, but the same conversations. And with the pain and bitterness that comes with being back to square one, I have to look in the mirror and ask myself: is this lifestyle really our final destination? Is this static, comfortable bubble really where you and I want to dwell till the end of our days?
Even after only just a few of years of living a culture of experience rather than one of security and possession, I personally already know my answer to this is forever a resounding no. Life is not some story we tell ourselves; it is neither a tale of the past or a preconception of of the future – it is the very thing that is happening to us right here – right now. Even as you’re reading this sentence. Now is forever; and if we are to sink into a bubble, stay still and never plot to move forward in any way – nor experience other things, peoples, places and ideas – then we are being short-sighted and condemning ourselves to not taking full advantage of the miracle of life and consciousness that we have all been gifted. And we’re bigger than that; in a time and age where we are more connected and capable than ever before – you and I are bigger than that bubble. Bigger than our small towns; bigger than those tabloid newspapers; bigger than closing our curtains and selves off from the outside world.
Our time is now and our time is precious. It truly is – like a drop in an ocean or a grain of sand in the desert, our brief time period of existence is ultimately nothing against the vast canvass of time in the universe. And this universe will not wait. Life is not a rehearsal; it is not some show on television – it will come to an end and there will be no replay button. Time shall pass; youth shall escape us; our bodies shall age; our lives will come to an end – and we will all die – that is undeniable and for sure. But when the time comes, our sun sets and our miraculous time on this earth comes to an end, the only thing of any importance to me and you will be just how much we ever really lived in the first place.