To nourish your mind as well as your body

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lose Yourself

"The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have." -Norman Vincent Peale
The universe is expanding at this very moment. And this one. And this one. And every moment it expands, it comes closer to the moment when it will collapse in on itself to begin anew. The exhausting, amazing largeness of existence is immeasurable. Imagine a geometric plane of empty black space going on in every direction forever. It's terrifying; it's incredible. It makes me feel weightless and scattered and grounded and ephemeral.
I am an amoeba on the speck of dust that is the earth, in the raindrop that is the galaxy, in the neverending, all-encompassing universe.

I am a finite creature in an infinite space; I exist solely for the moment of my existence. How radically cool is that? How incredibly awesome (in the original sense of the word) is this world we live in?

So often, we focus on the terrible things that happen - which is important. We should look the terror and pain of life straight in the metaphorical face, if only for the sake of trying for a moment to absorb some of that terror and pain from those in crises. See and act. Yes. But then open your eyes wider. There is nothing wrong with looking for the miracles of life when faced with so much human suffering.

We live in a world where ants raise aphids as pets, sheltering them from the rain with leaves and herding them from tree to tree. We live in a world where creatures communicate with songs. We live in a world where it's been proven that bacteria can make complex decisions. We live in a world where two objects, regardless of their size and weight, fall at the same speed. Just think about the wondrous complexity that surrounds us.

Humans can fly to the moon, we can sail on the sea, we can do anything and everything we put our mushy gray minds to - eventually.

In the wake of the tragedy in Haiti, I think it's incredibly important that we all remember that. We are capable of anything. We, as a species, have survived worse tragedies and will do again - because we act as a community. We survive as a community.

So do what you can: donate cash or goods to UNICEF, to CARE, Yele Haiti, the Red Cross, World Food Program, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, the International Rescue Committee, or any other reputable relief organization. And don't stop there. There are people in need right here; spend a day at a soup kitchen, help build a house, be a mentor, be a friend.

Today, I pledge to let my heart open and join with those who are struggling today, in Haiti and closer to home.  And then, I pledge to remember those infinitesimal, decision-making bacteria and the astounding, glory-inducing cosmos.

Lose yourself to this incredible, inexplicable world with me. We'll make a moment of it.


  1. This is such a beautiful post. So incredibly inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your heart with us :)

  2. You are quite the amazing poet! I feel the same way about our world. Glad thatI know you!