Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wherever You Go, There You Are


I had a meeting with a guy to finish the purchase of some memorabilia that I found online. I told him that I would be at the appointed meeting spot at 5:30pm. After waiting in the freezing cold for 25-minutes, I get a text saying that the meeting location had changed that he would be there in 20-minutes. Anyone that knows me remotely well knows that I don't like late people and I don't like surprises. Suddenly, the calm coolness of the "fuck it" attitude washed over me. Go with the flow D. Have a junior bacon cheeseburger (or 3).
 
After the meeting, I hopped on the bus at my usual route, satisfied that the transaction was finally settled. I sat deeply in my seat and enjoyed an article from McKinsey & Company about the global business landscape. All of a sudden, the bus stops, the engine whimpers, and the lights go out. Once the emergency lights took effect, the bus driver announced, "My check engine light keeps coming on. You'll have to grab the bus behind me". While everyone else scrambles to call their loved ones or others that may be expecting them, I sink a little deeper in my seat and concentrate on the article more intently. The old D that I know would've cross examined the bus driver (what did you know and when did you know it?), but this modern iteration apparently just goes with the flow.
 
When I got home that night, recognizing that I had witnessed a monumental change in my attitude and behavior, I tried to find the words to describe how I felt in the aforementioned situations. I perused Brainy Quotes for a few minutes, finding nothing that could adequately reflect my feelings. Suddenly, a quote from Confucius jumped off of the screen at me - a whispered response to the agonizing exclamation that I had uttered in the silence of my mind many times over:
"Wherever you go, there you are."
In this fast paced world, where the news of 30-seconds ago seems like the distant past, and where the destination has taken prominence over the journey, sometimes it takes moments that we have absolutely no control over to teach us to be present in the moment that we find ourselves in.

Oftentimes, we experience stress and discomfort from the irrational wish to be in a different place/situation/income bracket than we currently occupy rather than reveling in the fact that we are where we are, when we are. How many countless billions of people have been born of a woman and returned to the dust in old age. They must be looking down on us from the starry canopy of the universe with envy that we get to exist in the physical body and manifest our thoughts into actions.

Looking back on my life, from relationships to employment, I cannot but cringe at the numerous opportunities that have come and gone, never to be encountered again, but for the simple practice of being present in the moment.

Think about all the people, places, and things in your own life that would enrich your existence if you would only choose to be present with that person, in that place, or when handling that thing. Nikola Tesla, renowned for his invention of the alternating current, famously wrote that he discovered the "key" that allowed him to invent the microwave in the 4th Chapter of Revelations. How could Tesla, and Tesla alone, pull the key to such a monumental invention from the pages of a text that has been read by millions upon millions of people if he were not in the moment?

Life is a journey, on the continuum from infinity to infinity. In between, chaos ensues. The traveler's task is to find meaning from this seemingly nondescript jumble of randomness; to make order out of chaos. The secret, if there is one, is that you cannot seek to change anything, to organize the chaos, until you acknowledge that the chaos exists and that it is what it is. It has an origin, a nature, and an end. The chaos is here, and so are you.

Once we accept who were are, where we are and why were are, only then are we truly prepared to undertake the task of turning that which is into that which we will it to be.

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