Everyone says they want to be rich. Everyone says they don’t want to work. And yet the very rich can do anything they like, and yet what they want is the same thing everyone wants of course: to have a life of meaning.
The simple fact is, we can only screw around for so long before we realize that it’s our nature to be creative. It is our nature to expand ourselves —and through that, to expand the universe as well.
If we’re paying attention we’ll notice there are two types of street people. the first are people who feel so broken that they’ve stopped creating. This group essentially begs, which is actually a nice humble act. You have to be in a healthy headspace to pull that off. Think about how hard it would be to do.
However well they do as beggars, until they begin to fulfill their nature and grow, they will be crippled by their lack of connection to their natural sense of being. There are no flowers that grow part of the way out of the ground and then just stop and stay that way. The growth to a bloom and eventual desiccation is a natural event that these people have interrupted through very intense thinking.
The other half of the street people are much more like daily workers. They may have a back-alley trap-line for bottles, or they do daily work, but otherwise they live without encumbrances. They still maintain a purpose and a sense of accomplishment, and these elements are what makes their lives more enjoyable. Street people or not, they are doing all they need to do to fulfill themselves.
The existence of these two groups exposes the value in studying more about where our joy actually comes from. Because much like a tree-climber can see farther the higher they climb, so it is with any kind of growth.
If we go to the gym and talk other people into lifting weights for us, then we will not develop ourselves at all. In fact by not employing our own nature, we’ll actually degrade.
This also holds true in offices, or at home, or with friends. If we put no effort into finding ways to be productive, or help others around us to be more productive, then we are stifling your natural ability to help the universe expand.
If we don’t look after our home, soon it will degrade to the point where we won’t want to live there anymore. If we don’t look after our customers or co-workers, then we too will see our world shrink. Manipulate our friends to always do what we want, and we’ll never be challenged and we’ll never grow and we’ll soon be out of friends.
Each of these challenges expands us. Through our expansion we can appreciate other people’s experiences better, and that permits a stronger connection to them. As we become more capable we also become potentially more helpful. But if we have always taken the easy way out, then we will have no strength to help either ourselves or those we care about.
We will benefit from any expansion of ourselves through experience. Whether it’s the sort of strength that’s in our muscles, the strength we employ to redirect our thinking to healthier choices, the strength to admit we’re wrong, the strength to ask for help, or the strength to try things both physically and emotionally that scare us— the sense of overcoming is the sense of new strengths being built. The fear is like pain in the gym. It’s a signal of growth. And by enduring that aspect of life, we open up many others.
We need not live in fear. There’s little value in looking for an easy life. We need not avoid challenges. Life is a playground. There is no reason to stand idly by why others do our playing for us. We should get in there and get dirty. Not because we should, but because we can! Because all of the people who are doing it are the ones that keep doing it, and that’s for good reason: because the view is always worth the climb.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.