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Each of us is given but one pass through life. No retakes. No repeats.
Henry David Thoreau was one of American early classic writers. He penned On Walden Pond in 1854. He moved out of busy Boston to live on Walden Pond in a small cabin for two years. He explained “ I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. “
So, make a covenant -
To live well. Be good to yourself, your family and others. Be big in behavior, not small. Think mature, not immature. Take the long view, not shortsighted. Keep your head about you. To dig deep for comprehension, not prater at the surface. Participate thickly, not thinly. Consider carefully Abraham Lincoln’s thought that "in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Or roll Oscar Wilde’s thought around during the day: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” It is not at all necessary to do or have grand things to live well. All you must have is freedom and accuracy of perception and appreciation. Celebrate how great life is. The world is a beautiful place to be. Colorful. Stimulating. Interesting. With ample curiosities to keep busy for a lifetime, each thing leading to another.
To laugh often. Laughter cures the soul. It removes masks. Humanizes. Laughter heals many rifts, bridges many gaps. It builds memories. Laughter is universal among peoples. Laughter makes you live longer. Laughter makes friends, builds memories. Laughter vanquishes demons and warms your soul.
To love greatly. Love is the most generous gift given us. Love makes all else possible. Absent love, the world would yield merely a life which was poor, nasty, brutish and short, to borrow from Thomas Hobbes. To love greatly means to love unselfishly, for the sake of others as well as yourself. To love things beyond yourself, beyond your personal interests. Love gives back two fold. Love improves others. Love improves the giver.
Musings circa 2006