As I walk/jogged on the treadmill over the weekend, I watched the movie “Ice Age.” While plodding along, I laughed as Scrat the squirrel gets blown off a cliff with his whole hoard of nuts. As he is falling through the sky, acorns surrounding him, he begins to collect the nuts. He is so focused on retrieving the nuts for himself that he seems to forget that he is actually falling at breakneck speed toward an incredibly hard, crash landing. Although the movie is cute and far from reality, I couldn’t help thinking that sometimes we human beings can become as attached, obsessed to be more precise, to external objects.
If we stop a moment and look around the world, we see much unhappiness arising from our infinite desires to possess more, see more, work more, and do more. Since we, each and every one of us, have only twenty four hours in the day, we find ourselves overworked and yet increasingly separated from the external desires (the nuts) that we think will make us happy. Our lives pass us by at breakneck speeds while we intently, and obliviously, try to gather as many nuts as we possibly can before our final, crash landing. All along, we have the ability to pull the rip cord on our parachutes, land softly on the awaiting terra firma and yet we continue to obsess over gathering our nuts.
Today, instead of spending so much precious, constantly passing, limited and irretrievable time on getting, doing, or having, learn to just “be.” Stop and smell the preverbal roses. Engage with your children. Skip out of work early. Build the solid foundation of your family and your life first. After you’ve established your base, then build your perfect house, brick by brick and board by board. Make your life a tribute of gratitude for every day you have to live, breath and be of service to someone else.