Sitting, perched at the start of a transitioning year I recognize that each day is the beginning of a new year; potentially, the start of a new life. The clock and calendar, in an attempt to provide markers that signal our beginnings, designate 12:01 am on the first day of January as our collective annual beginning. They allow us to pass time, aware that others hear the same clock tick and watch the same calendar flip. It’s an illusion that fools us into believing we have brought some order to a universe we had no part in designing or maintaining. Who are we to establish a beginning of time when we have no control of our own physical beginning or end?
We are offended by incongruity and need an explanation for everything when none really exists. Therefore we enter into a social contract that at best, allows us to follow an established set of rules to ensure harmony. Some operate outside of the imaginary lines. We label them criminals and confine them to spaces where they can exist apart from the “law abiding.” Yet we all live just outside the collective boundaries in our personal existence. None of us share identical experiences, supporting the assertion that common sense does not exist, but our need to establish order dictates that we force ourselves into believing it does.
We have no control of time or authority over how others choose to pass it, but we can still attempt to control how we show up. Basing that on how we are perceived by others is certainly permissible, but must still produce some degree of personal satisfaction. The apostle, Paul, wrote in his epistle to the church of Phillipi “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need,” He could affirm his satisfaction in any circumstance, with secure faith in Christ to make all things possible. I share the same. Faith in my higher power gets me through each day. I learned long ago that I do nothing without assistance.
Going forward I resolve to continue walking in humility, appreciative to the universe for allowing my brief existence in this particular state of consciousness; to be always aware that each moment is a gift and make every action acknowledge the gift. I am grateful to and for the moment, humbled by its awesome greatness to be present for me in addition to countless others. I am shocked and saddened by the audacity of anyone who feels entitled, walking with assurance and not hope that the moment will pass for them. Don’t they realize people who had moments yesterday lack them today? Their ignorance loudly proclaims ingratitude. It’s an abomination committed by so many against not just the moment, but also other gifts from the universe.
I am reminded of experience shared with me by a friend who recently encountered a celebrity. While at concert he noticed the person of note, occupying the adjacent box.
“Excuse me, are you (insert name here)?” his companion politely inquired.
The celebrity, a veteran soap opera actress, pointing to her cotton stuffed-ear, replied that she couldn’t hear and spent the rest of the evening, behaving as though she’d been insulted. It was a crushing disappointment to a fan that had long admired her work. While I respect the celebrity’s right to private moments, it cannot be expected they will occur in a public setting.
The decision to pursue a life in the public eye must include an acceptance and appreciation for recognition, but so often humility departs with the acquisition of fame. The famous should be constantly humbled, not by their greatness for we all possess the capacity for greatness beyond our imagination, but by the fact that anyone notices. To have one’s work acknowledged indicates that perhaps it’s worthy of appreciation and should inspire a worker’s sincere gratitude. A performing artist’s income and longevity rely upon public recognition. When folks stop checking, you are officially no longer hot. It makes sense to appreciate the loyalty of fans who tune in everyday to watch your post-menopausal ass play a blind, pregnant woman. I’m just saying.
Ideally, ours should be a society of mutual admiration and appreciation, but collectively we fail to admire or appreciate the planet for sustaining life. In 2011 we need to get GRATEFUL!