November 29

Today's quotation:

Live all you can.  It's a mistake not to.
It doesn't much matter what you do in particular,
so much as you LIVE while you're doing it.

Henry James

Today's Meditation:

I often ask myself what the difference is between living and simply surviving, spending time on this planet breathing its oxygen and eating of its food, but not really living our lives.  Who defines the term "live"?  Can anyone truly define it?  And is my concept of living the same as yours?  There really are not answers to these questions, but this seems to be a case in which asking the questions is much more important than finding answers.

Living, I believe, consists of putting ourselves out there and exploring the questions that come to our hearts.  What does it mean to be a loving person?  What does it mean to be compassionate?  What does it mean to me to enjoy myself and have fun?  From which activities do I get the most satisfaction and fulfillment?

Unfortunately, the questions that most of us pursue are ones like, How can I pay the bills?  Which job will pay the most?  Which new activities will fill up my time more?  How can I find more and better entertainment?  And when we ask ourselves these kinds of questions and pursue their answers, then we aren't looking to live, but to survive.  We're looking for answers outside of ourselves to questions that come from inside, and the answers simply aren't there.  We may find what seem to be answers for the short term, but they almost never translate into long-term solutions to anything.

The only problem with what Henry says is that he doesn't tell us how to do so.  And that's partly because each one of us has to find out how on our own.  There is no one solution that's valid for everyone; rather, we need to start to focus on the questions that can lead us to life as we seek out answers.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of questions do you ask yourself when you're seeking answers to what life's all about?

What does it mean to you to "live while you're doing it"?

How many people do you know who live all they can?  How do they do it?

For further thought:

Affirmation of life is the spiritual act by which people cease
to live unreflectively and begin to devote themselves to
their lives with reverence in order to raise them to their
true value. To affirm life is to deepen, to make more inward, and to exalt the will-to-live.

Albert Schweitzer


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