Today was another Groundhog Day for me. After coffee and breakfast I meditated. Then I fired up the computer and started writing. This afternoon I’ll run an errand and do chores. This evening I’ll spend time with those I love, then head off to bed. Not every day goes this way, but my life’s pretty routine.
I suppose your day will be just as routine except everything you do will be slightly different. Because it doesn’t matter where we live in the world or what our circumstances may be; while we all live completely different lives about 90% of what we say and do on any given day is just like every other day.
I like the way Mahatma Gandhi added a little curry-and-spice-advice to the mundaneness of life in this quote:
“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” Mahatma Gandhi
I can imagine Gandhi speaking these words to a throng of people, but his advice falling short. It’s too idealistic. The reality is, the more mundane we know our lives to be, the less relevant our lives feel. Modernity has only compounded the banality. Sure, there’s a million ways to be diverted or entertained and to break the cycle of monotony. Yet, at the end of the day what we are all still seeking is substance.
It might be helpful to consider that there is already a lot of substance in our lives that has been with us since birth. It’s in our hearts and minds now, because it’s been enriching people’s lives for thousands of years. We are often just too distracted and busy to recognize how much this substance really matters.
Concepts that transcend time
I refer to this substance by way of simple concepts that have linked humanity together throughout time. Concepts like mutual respect and equality; which are so vital in allowing people from around the world to live in harmony. Honesty and understanding; which are core traits that foster the bonds of friendship. Familial love; the foundation of healthy families. Civility and tolerance; qualities which are in such demand these days, particularly in America or other countries in which its people remain divided. And just good, old-fashioned kindness and empathy – towards everybody.
If you think about it – or better yet meditate on it – you’ll discover that there are many concepts in life such as these which transcend time. What’s particularly fascinating is that despite all the choices modern life grants us to grow personally and to entertain ourselves, these pastimes are fleeting. And if we dare to really calculate the amount of trivia in our lives, we’d find that just a small percentage of what we actually do and think about each day is fresh and meaningful.
On the other hand, there is this wealth of concepts, qualities and principles that have transcended humanity since the dawn of time. These are the stuff of real substance, which holds friendships and families together and keeps cultures thriving. Spending a little time thinking about these dynamics can personally enrich us, but it will also connect us to the stream of life.