The Mahayana Buddhists believe that a being only gets a numbered amount of actual breaths in a lifetime that is why contemplation of thought, deep meditation on an idea and slowing down of one’s life are at the very core of their teachings
It is very hard for most westerners to grasp this concept as it is many other ideas based around respect for oneself and others, to put conscious thought before the spoken work is I sadly believe an idea gone the way of Tasmanian devil, something glorified in tales of old but sadly only remembered in books.
Speaking with forethought based on how much you value the intended recipient of your verbosity is an idea I think this generation cannot or will not grasp, what am I talking about you ask?
When I speak to a certain person in my life they irritate to no end with one of their habits as I speak they will sit and “ahuh, ahuh, ahuh ooh aahh mmmmm uhuh uhuh and if I ask what they thought they will say they answered me? I say “but when?” they reply “I said u huh” really am I not worthy, no is our friendship so unimportant to them that I’m not worth the time it takes to form actual words? We have with the coming and going of each generation so dumbed down our children that it has become acceptable to use “lol” and lmao and other computer speak in actual conversation, that once where we declared our love on stationery in a scented love now it is done with E-cards and emoticons, some even have sunk so low as to end relationships via text?
If I ask you a question how hard is it for you to form actual words with vowels and cons tenants?
Is not yes as easy as “uhuh”? It takes but a minute to call someone and remind them you care.
I have a woman I know, I have in fact known her since high school almost 40 years ago she is back in Australia and I am here in New York, she is facing health challenges and many people some in the same small town declared their support by Facebook their upset with crying emoticon and their support for her recovery with beating heart emoticons? But they were in many cases in the same post code as we call a zip back in Australia? I am sure they meant it all down to the last one but to me I felt she needed to hear a friendly voice saying “love you kid got your back and let us know if you need anything” because to me “she was worth the words”
My wife, she who must be obeyed, works in the business of publishing she sends emails and texts in her sleep it is so ingrained into her life, and she will text and email and PM people all over the world each day me included, but to me she is worth the call, worth the two minutes, worth the breath around the vocal cords to say “how’s your day darling, don’t worry I’m healing fine” you see our love is worth the words.
There are some places where the electronic age is pertinent, my friends in Nepalese monasteries where snail mail takes months, my beautiful nephew, a United states marine on deployment overseas somewhere, we stay in touch by Facebook, but the moment I know where he is we call or write because he needs to know that our love for him is unquestionable, our support for the job is doing goes without saying and we count the days till he is once again safely home.
In these times of electronic media people actually commit suicide over not having enough twitter followers or they call someone they have never met a friend because they clicked accept to their Facebook friend request, but is that what a friend is? Michael mormina, Wayne fuetril, Phil murphy, jo offe mike Belnap these are friends we went to school in the 70’s together Belnap was our teacher, there are others not as many years friends none the less. Then I have 500 others on Facebook with whom I chat daily, and of those I have actually met I can count on one hand, and then others by their unselfish deeds are set to become new friends as important in their own ways to us as my school friends are in theirs.
Remove stress, remove angst, remove turmoil and worry very simply, ask yourself “are they worth the words”? If they’re not their not friends their condemnation or ridicule cannot hurt if you put them in a category of no more important than the any other person on face book or the guy who drives my morning bus!
We as a race need to get back to valuing those who actually create, those who leave the earth a better place because they were here, teachers need to be raised up for we trust them with the earths future.
Our concept of hero is twisted, a sportsman who has convictions for spousal abuse gets$200 million dollar contracts but a 20 year old lance corporal in the united states marines gets less than 25 thousand before tax for carrying a gun and laying his life on the line for our protection?
Take time to put pen to paper, take time to read a real magazine, a real novel, send thankyou notes and call someone not text or pm but actually call. I
n Australia we just drop by for a cuppa? On weekends we buy a six pack load up the bbq and just go to a friend’s house. It will not be until you have worked out who are worth the words, Who are worth using some of those limited number breaths the Buddhists tell us we have that we can truly work out our own worth, our own place and our own value in this world.
Social media was only ever invented to be just what its name implies”a way to use computers to just say “G’day” a way to find others with similar interests without leaving your house. It was never meant to restructure your very being to the point where by if someone doesn’t hit like or enough don’t retweet you actually question your self-worth.
Try going out and finding a printers and a pen store and buying yourself a personal stationery kit, get up drive to the hallmark store, walk down aisles think about the person you want to send the card to and choose the card with them in mind and then sit and writing in cursive actually write a nice thought or wish and mail it.
Try buying a few cards to keep around to send if you hear a friend has a baby or someone passed away they will always appreciate it.
I was watching nbc the other day and a couple who were over 100 years old had been married 80 years, and he had served in world war 2 and she had said what kept the love alive was she still has every love letter he ever wrote home from war tied up with a ribbon and from time to time they sit and read them to each other.
Ask yourself can your emoticons and smiley faces keep your love alive for 80 years? when you’re gone can they be kept to remind someone of you? Breath look around decide who is worth the words, the love, the effort, surround yourself with them and remind them regularly just how much they mean to you.
use your vocabulary to form wisdom, not grunts that confuse and you might just be part of something wonderful. Words can open eyes and hearts like nothing else can rather than using the seven pounds above your head to win candy crush use it to write something wonderful and win a heart.
I know I am writing this on a computer but for every keystroke I have ever taken there is a word of the queens English on a page somewhere, we only pass through this world we don’t own it we care take it for our children what will you leave them ?