I grew up in the 50s and 60s and don’t remember being a deep thinker, but hey, I was a kid doing what kids do – living in the moment. Adults should relearn that. It’s a grand way to live. Because really, that’s all we have: one moment at a time. So just live there and when the next moment moseys along, live that. Keep doing that, and you will find that living takes on an ease. You won’t shoulder the weight of the world or the next moment’s burden either.
However, as I grew older and the 70s blasted into the world, I began pondering life’s mysteries as did many of my generation. While the other half of our generation joined the work force, married and started families, the rest of us partied, drank, smoked pot, dropped acid, attended music fests, and practiced free love.
The hippie-college life. We pushed against the status quo, questioning everything. Wanting peace and love, we boycotted, campaigned and rallied against injustices. We locked arms in solidarity — a decade like no other. It was the best of times and the worst of times.
Thinking deeply set me on a life-long journey. The meaning of life. The universe. Why can’t humans love one another? Why are hate and violence rampant in the world? The religions of the world basically provided the same answer: sin.
Yet I realized we should dig deeper than that. Dig down to the root of hate and violence.
Throughout my life, I have embraced many beliefs, only to reject them later. Once I berated myself for never settling on one set of beliefs. Then I saw myself walking a path with a trail of scaffolding littered behind me. Every so often a group of people gathered around a pile of scaffolding and settled in.
This vision gave me hope because scaffolding is a means to the end, not the answer. The means by which I was searching for answers was the scaffolding. I would find a profound truth, or what I thought was truth, and embrace it, only to discover later that it was just chaff, scaffolding. So I’d discard it. The good news is that each step pushed me forward in the journey.
Each step eventually brought me back to the beginning of living life in the moment. Bringing an ease to my life. Enabling me to wholeheartedly love people without judgement. The simple pleasures of life returned — sitting in my porch enjoying the chorus of bird songs, a conversation with a friend, a hug from a child, riding my bike, a good book, and so much more.
Then when I finally understood that everything is connected, feeling helpless at the enormity of the world’s problems ceased to weigh on me. What I think and how I live my life impacts everything, like ripples in a pond. Moment-by-moment, my little life matters. My little life affects more than just where the pebble lands in the water. The love and kindness I extend to those in my life reaches out to the entire world. Moment-by-moment. Give it a try. You won’t regret it.
Terri White is a veteran homeschool mom from the ’80s and ’90s and is the founder/director of T.E.A.C.H Cleburne. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.