I love one facet of religion. And that’s the part where people do what the equivalent Latin word “relig” suggests, and “bind” or “tie”, presumably their life, to some greater meaning. I’m using the word religion here as a proxy for “greater meaning” , as in English we don’t have such a word to describe the choice of practicing what I can only refer to as the daily art of living an inspired life. Some words such as “purpose” come close, but yet, don’t encapsulate the responsibility of the individual to bind their actions with their belief. Yet, the word religion is not correct either. This is clear in the simple fact that it’s impossible for most of us to even think of “religion”, something that idealistically gives our lives fulfilment and purpose, without rendering accounts of the acts of hate, judgement, painful tradition, close-mindedness, or hypocrisy. Even most progressive Christians I know shy away from the word “religion”, and choose to use the phrase “relationship with God” when talking about their belief structure.
In this, I’m finding more and more that there seem to predominantly be two schools of people, those who are “religious” (I’m referring to the adherence to a traditional belief structure here), and those who are not. When I talk about those who are not, I mean those void of greater out-of-this-world purpose. The focus of life tends to be within the rheum’s of gathering and expending resources, seeing different countries, and making and managing a family. In this camp, it would be rare for thoughts to extend beyond the pragmatic activites of the ~70 years, we consider as our life. I know enough in my 25 years to know there are different ways to look at everything, so wouldn’t make a judgement on if this is “bad/good”, but do know that when things go wrong, as they eventually do, my friends in this camp tend to become overwhelmingly unfulfilled. They work so hard to build a certain style of life for themselves only to too often not get to where they hoped, or, get there to realise that it wasn’t what they had hoped for.
I’m discovering more and more that life really is about the journey, and finding real meaning, or at the very least, enjoyment, from what we are doing is the key. No day is promised, we may die tomorrow, never having a chance to realise all we had worked for, or even worse, we may die old, never learning to appreciate what we did work for. I doubt that we will ever feel as happy as we had hoped when we reach our predetermined goals. Life will not significantly change, we will still be who we are, just older versions and with a few things ticked off a list. Thus, maybe we should allow ourselves to enjoy the journey.
I have discovered that I have the ability to find happiness in what I am doing by simply looking for beauty. In looking up, looking around me. Stopping to smell the flowers. Living each day with a mission to see the beauty in what’s close-by. Living each moment, as though I am on a photographic mission – thus opening my eyes (so to speak) to seek-out the splendour, and when I do this – I can’t help but feel appreciative, inspired, and amazed. I am a composer of music in my own time, but am also a listener. Although I love listening to bands, I particularly love listening to the orchestra around me: on the street, in a metro, in a quiet room with dripping tap, the window-wipers on a car. Seeking out the beautiful sounds, listening for them. The same with people. I am constantly seeking out beautiful people, and I am overcome by how often I seem to find it.
I know life is very complicated, but I think maybe, I’ve had a personal discovery of something astounding, enjoying each day is a decision and for me is as simple as allowing myself to be inspired and to be amazed.