Friday, April 22, 2005

Experience Life

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him. Aldous Huxley, "Texts and Pretexts", 1932 English critic & novelist (1894 - 1963)

Life is a gift that should be opened slowly and savored fully, but unless you pay attention it will simply slip though your fingers like quicksilver. Getting the most out of living requires mindful participation, which means that knee-jerking impulses should be instantly made suspect. More often than not, reactionary behaviors cede all the power to the situation. And that is too much like boarding a bus without knowing its destination too entice me to climb onboard.
If we become puppets, controlled by whatever happens to us, there is no occasion for hope. I learned that lesson slowly. I am not immune to happenings, but I do try to minimize the damage caused. Walking through the fire will be all the more painful if you add to the height of the flames or insist on strolling there longer than necessary. Use it then lose it. Feel it then deal with it. Be it or be free of it. The choice of what happens to you is out of your hands, but the choice of how you respond certainly is well within your reach, if you take the time to grasp onto it before giving into the panic urge.