Enjoying (Continued from Learning)

  • YoungNgo

    khoảng 1 10 năm trước
  • Welcome to life.

    What's it all about? Why are we here? What's the point? Is there a point? Why bother?

    Why life?

    At some point, you have probably pondered The Meaning of Life, and you came up with a satisfactory answer, which either has or has not stood the test of time, or you shrugged mightily, muttered, "Beats the hell out of me," and ordered a cheeseburger.

    The question which precedes "What's the meanings of life?" is, of course, "Is there a meaning to life?" Beats the hell out of us. We're going to explore the first question as though the answer to the second question is yes.

    If it's true that life has no meaning--no purpose-- then it doesn't matter whether we've consumed a few pages speculating on the meaning of life. In fact, if there is no purpose of life, nothing matters. It's like trying to play a game with no rules, no boundaries, no nets, no teams and no scoring system--just five billion players.

    So let's start the game by assuming there is a purpose to life. Our question then becomes, "If there is a purpose to life, what is it?"

    Here's our answer: Life is for doing, learning and enjoying....

    To be continued...

  • YoungNgo

    khoảng 1 10 năm trước
  • Things won are done;
    joy's soul lies in the doing. --- Shakespeare

    One thing about humans: we are doing creatures. We always seem to be doing something. When we're not doing something, we're thinking about doing something, which, of course, is doing something. When we sleep, we toss and dream. We do exercises to keep our bodies in shape so we can do even more.

    Humans are well designed for doing. Unlike trees, our bodies can move from place to place. Our emotions can move from happy to sad, and back again, in a matter of minutes. Our thoughts move us to places we can't go physically: our memory moves us back in time, our intelligence anticipates future movement, and our imagination moves us to places we've never been.

    We also do to nature--you name it, and humans have either moved it or done something to it. (At the very least, we named it). We seem bent on rearranging the world. We invent tools to move that which we cannot move with our bodies alone.

    The successful theatrical director, Moss Hart, had a country home. He would visit on weekends, and request of his landscape designer that a few trees be put over there, a stream over here, and please move that mountain a few hundred feet to the left. The playwright George S. Kaufman visited Hart's home and remarked, "This is the way God would do it if He only had money."

    It's often been observed that, from afar, the doing of humans resembles the frantic bustling of ants. We must occassionally wonder, "What is the purpose of all this doing?" We are not, after all, rocks, which don't seem to do much at all. We were obviously given the ability to do, but why?

    We must, of course, do in order to meet our bodily needs (which would not be as great if we did not do as much), but even after these needs are met, we keep on doing. Why? Our suggestion:

    Our doing allows for more learning

    Will be continued (Learning)

  • YoungNgo

    khoảng 1 10 năm trước
  • Wear you learning,
    like your watch,
    in a private pocket:
    and do not pull it out
    and strike it,
    merely to show
    that you have one. -- Earl Of Chesterfield (1774)

    Learning is not
    attained by chance,
    it must be sought for with ardor
    and attended to with diligence. -- Abigail Adams (1780)


    Life is for learning? Learning what? You name it. There's a lot to learn. In the first five years alone we learned physical coordination, walking, talking, eating, going potty, interaction with family and playmates, a great many facts about this planet, and all the other things that differentiate a five-year-old from a newly born infant.

    From five to ten we learned reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, history, science, music, sports--and when we weren't watching television we learned some more about people: friends, relatives, enemies, allies, rivals, supporters, detractors.

    And so learning continued. Some of what we learned early on turned out to be true (the earth is round; if you want a friend, be a friend; cleanliness is next to impossible) and some of it turned out to be false (Santa Claus; the Tooth Fairy; Kansas is more fun than Oz).

    Some things had to be relearned--or unlearned--and while relearning and unlearning, maybe we learned what to do about disappointment--and maybe we didn't.

    Looking back on most people's lives, we see dramatic growth until the age of fifteen or twenty. Then the growing slows, stops or, in some cases, regresses.

    What happens si that most people declare themselves "done" when their formal education is over. What is it about renting a cap and gown and receiving a scroll of paper that makes us think our learning days are over?

    It's not that there's nothing left to learn. Far from it. "Commencement" does not just mean graduation; it means a new beginning.

    The more we learn, the more we can do. The more we do, the more we can learn. But in all this doing and learning, let's not forget one of the most important lessons of all--enjoyment.

    Will be continued (Enjoying).

  • YoungNgo

    khoảng 1 10 năm trước
  • Seek not, my soul,
    the life of the immortals;
    but enjoy to the full
    the resources
    that are within thy reach. -- Pindar (518-438 B.C)

    How good is man's life,
    the mere living!
    How fit to employ all the heart
    and the soul and the senses
    forever in joy! -- Robert Browning (1855)


    Joy is an intersting word. It does not have an automatic opposite created by grafting "un" or "dis" or "in" to it. There are pleasure and displeasure, happiness and unhappiness, gratitude and ingratitude--but there is no unjoy, disjoy or injoy. (Can you imagine the word inenjoy?)

    Joy seems to be something that can take place no matter what else is going on, no matter what other thoughts are being thought, no matter what other feelings or physical sensations are being felt.

    The old story comes to mind: Two brothers went to ride ponies on their uncle's ranch, but first the uncle insisted that they shovel a large pile of manure out of a stall. One brother hated the project, and grumbled his way through a few halfhearted scoops. The other brother was laughing and singing and shoveling with abandon. "What are you so happy about?" the first brother asked. "Well," the second replied, "with all the manure, ther emust be a pony in here someplace!"

    So it is with life. When life seems truly, um, excremental, we can moan and groan over our fate, or we can -- even in the midst of anger, terror, confusion and pain--tell ourselves, "There must be a lesson in here someplace!"

    Learn to enjoy the process of learning.

    In those times when there's not much to learn, you can learn to enjoy the enjoyment. As Confucius observed 2,500 years ago, "With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow--I have still joy in the midst of these things." Or, as Thorton Wilder pointed out, "Enjoy your ice scream while it's on your plate--that's my philosophy."

    Joy might be, in fact, not just something to enjoy while learning lessons; it may also be a technique for learning some of the most profound lessons of all. "With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy," Wordworth wrote, "we see into the life of things."

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