Source: Edie Art
Underneath all of the sharpest divisions, human beings of any opinion tribe can still recognize certain fundamental truths. I like to touch those sometimes, so that I myself don’t get lost in the conflict. Conflict is loud. Fear is loud. Rage is loud. Bombs are loud, and so are the wails of mothers and the sobs of children and cries of the afflicted for justice. All of these can drown out other important sounds that the heart needs to hear.
With that in mind, I offer you this beautiful animated and scored rendition of some simple words I spoke one day to a young man. Thank you Edie Art for this creation.
Life is a gift, but you didn’t earn it. You didn’t earn your mother gestating you, like you never paid for that. You didn't earn the sun or water; it's a tremendous gift, and acknowledging that—and really taking that in—is transformative when you have grown up in a culture that ignores that fact. Because when you know that you have been so richly gifted, the natural response is gratitude, and the desire to give. And from generosity comes gratitude, and that is really half the purpose of life: to give of the gift of life that we received, toward life. That's what life does; it creates more life, and that's half our purpose here.
The other half, obviously, is to receive, too, because the gift of life is not a one-time gift; it's an ongoing gift. And I mean life, not just in the sense of the organism staying alive, but I mean the fullness of life, which includes the richness of experience, all of the joys and pleasures, and awestruck apprehension of the miracles, the magnificence of nature, the sights and the sounds, and the pain also, but also what's on the other side of the pain, and the love, the connection. All that we receive, we are here to receive, and the more fully that we receive, the more grateful we are, and the more we have to give.