There are a large if not majority of people in the world who spend the bulk of their time bemoaning the state of the world and the failings of everyone else for the worlds shortcomings. Even myself was entrapped in this line of thought and occasionally I fall into the mire.
If you put your mind to it such as I do at the very writing of these words, it reminds us of the radius around our bodies. Is all so really bad? Are our needs not fully if not grossly attained in comparison to the wider world? Indeed they are. This is not a writing about counting your blessings though.
I have an hourglass in my living room, it is cool looking and occasionally maybe once a month, I turn it. It is a good size, but I never count the time each grain of the obsidian sand as it falls. As I shopped today, I made the connection of the grain of sand as I made my way around the store.
The sands are our thoughts.
It occurred to me as with the other shoppers, we are overwhelmed with what we need, what we should buy, what products are the best. Of course this is just an arm of marketing. Part of the machine we all belong to in that we need products, we need to work for these companies to get these products, we even are invested in these companies in terms of financial gain in the future or retirement.
We eat ourselves.
Not just on the socioeconomic scale, but we eat ourselves alive with our own thoughts. If we allow it, the things on TV regardless of intent infiltrate our minds. As it does with reading. As it does with alignment with any group. It is part of the herd mentality or basic tribalism. Ingrained deep within our own DNA we seek to be a part of a pack.
That is a hard thing to fight. Yet the mind is still your own. You control the thoughts, its patterns, the tendency to judge. It is inherent to survival, judging. If you make an error in judgment it could cost you your life. We see it everyday, else we would not need emergency rooms or car insurance. We would not need a legal system or prisons.
That is the cost of freewill.
So in a very long round about way I am coming to the climbing of the mountain of life. Every life is different in its creation, its challenges, and how far it will go. It is like climbing a mountain. Many people have done it solo, some on dangerous peaks. Others have gone in groups, even then, many wiped off the face of the earth. We all start at the base camp of life as newborns ever growing stronger as we begin our ascent to the top.
Along the way, we meet others in their climb. Sometimes we camp with them other times we pass each other by. Some going faster up ahead of us, others down to a safer place on their mountain. Unfortunately even those of us that reach the peak like the many who fall will eventually perish on our climb.
This does not mean that the climb is all danger fraught with storm after storm, even though there are those who seem to be permanently battered by them. It means that we should look around. Pay attention to our every thought as the the snowflakes that surround us or the great views of the other mountains and clouds that paint a tapestry that only our mind can appreciate as it is our climb, our place, our space to see the world we live in.
There is only so much time in your life. There are only so many grains of sand. There are only so many directions you can take to rise to the top, even if it means taking a step back now and then.