I am a writer in the making with a passion for imagery, globetrotting and exquisite designs.
Published May 9th 2013
With a little help from great minds
A friend of mine once told me that she'd taken to doing a little exercise every morning, between hitting the snooze button and actually getting out of bed. It went a little something like this: she would think of three good reasons for her to get up and go out there to meet the day ahead of her. In good times, it would help her be thankful and aware of the good, and in bad times, it would help her remember that, however small, there was always some something to look forward to that day.
I've been thinking about this little practice. In most cases, it lends itself to being highly subjective. I mean, we all have different reasons, don't we?
Here are three great reasons that can be almost universally applicable, suggested by three even greater minds from the 20th century.
Leaving aside the eternal debate condensed by Martin Heidegger, "Why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing? That is the question", it's safe to say that now we find ourselves here. By existing, we constantly witness the triumph of life and defy the negative pole of not-being, and these are reasons in themselves to celebrate.
Despite what you may think, you don't actually know what's going to happen to you today.
No matter how much you think you've planned your schedule down to the minute, the truth is that you don't know the first thing about what lies ahead. The wonderful power we have is the choice of how to face what is, in fact, a mystery that slowly reveals itself to us, minute by minute. In Prima del viaggio [Before the Journey], the translation of which can be found at the bottom of this post, Italian poet Eugenio Montale speaks of the journey as a metaphor for life and says that "an unforseen event is our only hope". Become a possibilitarian.
As human beings, we are all centres of activity and our actions ripple out into the world and transform it in countless interlinking directions. The butterfly effect, who owes its name to Chaos Theory pioneer Edward Lorenz explains how a small and seemingly insignificant event (a butterfly flapping its wings, say) can trigger a chain of events that end up causing a large scale event (such as a hurricane), far removed in space and time. Most of the time, we don't even know the difference we make for others. What greatness do the ripples of our small gestures of love and kindness cause? It is a fascinating thought.