Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Something of Value

Quid agis, NIP?

            Life is good. Summer vacation began last week for us. It’s been nice to spend so much quality time with one another and our families. We’ve had time to tackle a few projects already, including hanging a sign on the back porch that states “Life is good.” Life has been incredible for some time, really. And that’s why I wanted to write this brief epistle—to remind you that life is good, NIP.

            Your life is something of value. Each and every single one of ours is. It’s valuable because someone or something else’s existence depends on yours. You’re needed in this world for some purpose, perhaps one you don’t even recognize yet. Know that you are a crucial piece of this indiscernible puzzle of life. When I was younger I thought life “sucked.” At nearly 36, I realize that part of my cynical worldview stemmed from the mild depression or malaise induced by my then ballooning weight. But more importantly I understand that I could have avoided much grief had I realized much of my affliction was mental. My mind back then was my own worst enemy. Always convincing myself that I couldn’t do this or that. In the end I started to feel worthless, unappreciated, and without value. If there has been a great mistake in my life from which I learned the most, it was letting myself believe—even for the briefest of instances—that my life did not have value.

            If you’ve ever thought this, NIP, you’re not only just like me, but I’m positive millions (perhaps billions?) of others also. I have to imagine it happens to many people, but some are better equipped mentally to stave off such negative emotional onslaughts that erode our sense of self-worth. While much of what I have learned recently has undoubtedly made an impact on my worldview, the entire process/decade has been holistic and therefore difficult to pin it down to one idea. But if I tried to distill it down to one it would be this: every day from now until you know when, contemplate the odds of life. Scientifically or religiously matters not. In fact, I would suggest doing it both ways as the grandeur only unfurls that much more. I know it may sound crazy, but if you can just try to witness the world over the next few days. Try not to label it or think of things as good or bad—these are all secondary traits to the existence of life. And if you have to think about anything, concentrate on how amazing the symbiosis of life is. Everything is there for a reason, everything depends on something else.

Just like you, NIP. You were born and are valued by others. You might not think so at times, but that’s just the negative mind trying to belittle your worth. By focusing on the odds of life and how truly miraculous it is to be alive helps appreciate the value of living. It has for me, at least, and I think it could do so for anyone. Contemplating the odds of life, however, has its hazards. The truth is the odds of existence—incredible though they may be—are only the surface. To plumb the depths of life’s mystery may change you forever. You may be curious about the simplest of details or exclaim “just really think about photosynthesis” excitedly to others. And the more you keep the odds in the forefront of your mind, NIP, the more you’ll start to see the world positively and ultimately realize that…

Be a witness, NIP!
- Ryan

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