Attitude of Gratitude Day 17: The End and The Forever

Crowded street - Varkala

Today is Thanksgiving, so it will be the last of these gratitude features. So it seems appropriate, in some small way to talk about endings. In particular it seems important to talk about, mine. Any of our ends, really. I am in no rush to shuffle of this mortal coil. One day I will though. We all will. It is the one near certainty. Everything ends. Even the universe itself, and in a way, that is a good thing.
I am not going to lie and claim that the concept of immortality does not intrigue me. Nor am I going to trot out that tired notion that eventually one would get bored living forever. It is a very large universe with so much to explore looking both outward and inward. I am relatively sure that boredom would not set in for a few hundred thousand years, if at all. We will continue to learn, and continue to create and I am sure my fellow humans could keep me entertained for eternity if I let them. Never mind what there is to check out beyond humanity.

The fact that it can end though gives it so much more meaning. We have this one go around to get it right, or at least as right as we can. There are no do-overs, and what you make is what you get. Which is not to say that mistakes make life less beautiful. Sometimes mistakes grow into beautiful treasures of experience all their own. You never know what each choice brings. That said, each choice, each mistake and each triumph, can be your last. Making them valuable beyond measure.

Each breath is a gift, either from the hands of the divine or random, unfeeling chance, but a gift just the same. The chance to be, the chance to feel, think, know, and touch other beings, for such a brief flicker in the span of all space-time is an opportunity that cannot be overestimated. In the time we are given we influence the experiences of so many others. We affect the lives of friends, family, acquaintances, and complete strangers. Each of our moments, every single precious one of them, exists not in a vacuum, but in web of interconnectedness. Even our loneliest moments touch someone else: our presence missed somewhere, and tugging on the existence of another.

Now, right now, is a treasure. For so many of those with the ability to read this, it is a prize we take for granted. In the hustle and bustle of our modern world, our modern lives, we do not take the time to be grateful just for the chance to be. This is not an accusation, simply a statement of fact. It is not an affront to the universe, or fate, or god, or God, or whatever else. Whatever they are, whatever existence is, it can bear our ignorance. It is, however, and affront to our individual selves. We need to remember the gift that is now, and the gift that was then that brought us to now, and the gift of what is to come that springs from the now.

I am grateful. I am so very thankful, just for life. I love the chance to be, even with the pain and worry I have experienced in life, more than many Westerners do. I truly appreciate the chance to feel part of the forever spreading out behind and ahead of me, and of the infinite stretching around me. My part is tiny, brief, and like all our parts shining. My part is part of a seemingly endless whole, and that gives it, like all your parts, value beyond reason. Be well, be kind, be loved, and just be.



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