December 18
Where I was born and where and how
I have lived is unimportant.  It is what
I have done with where I have been
that should be of interest.

Georgia O'Keefe


Today's Meditation:

It's very easy to get caught up in our histories.  It's very easy to talk about where we've been and what we've done and all those things that are over now.  It's a bit more difficult, though, to focus on what we're doing now, what we're adding to our life experiences on any given day.  It isn't as common to hear people talking about where they are in life, what's going on with them and how things are going.  All of these things are the results of what we've done in the past, yet for some reason we don't talk about the results, just the causes.

I've always been a bit perplexed when I walk around European towns and cities.  It seems that most of them are doing all they can to maintain things like thousand-year-old churches and cathedrals, yet there isn't a lot of focus on getting new things done today.  I never got a strong feeling of who the Spanish people are today as a result of the cultures of the past--instead, the people are content to continue to market their pasts without adding much in the way of new. 

This focus on the past is understandable--they make a lot of money off of the historical monuments--but puzzling.  These monuments don't say much about the lives that the people are living today, but they remain sources of pride, in much the same way that Americans talk about football or baseball teams from decades ago. 

But what do we do with these things, other than function as passive bystanders?  What have I done with the time I've lived in different places, if I haven't learned and grown from them?  How have I bettered myself through my experiences?  It's one thing to talk about what we've gone through, but quite another to make sure that we do something with the places we go, and recognize and appreciate what we learn from those places.  Who we become in life depends on how we use our experiences--and hopefully, we use them for growth and learning.

Questions to consider:

Why do we seem not to focus on what we've become through our past experiences, and what we might become from our future experiences?

What have been some of the most influential experiences in your life?  How have they affected your life?

How can the places you've lived have positive effects on your life? 

For further thought:
It doesn't matter where you've been.
What matters is who you've become.
Who you are.  Here.  Now.



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