Everything is a bonus
6th November 2009
by Marcus Loane
Being alive is an amazing wonderful thing. Our senses and our perspective can become dulled with age and with familiarity and we forget this and take being alive for granted. The fact that the conglomeration of molecules that comprise you is able to purposefully move and think and be aware of the wider universe is quite incredible. We can so easily forget this and get weighed down by parochial concerns in our lives. Just reflecting on our existence as a conscious entity in a huge and ancient universe on a regular basis can rekindle that childish wonderment for what is often considered the mundane.
This has led me to consider almost everything in my life to be a bonus, to be icing on the cake of just being alive. Being alive is enough and everything on top of that is a bonus. A roof over my head, food to eat, my wife, my family and friends, my job, my possessions, my education and everything I’ve learned is a bonus. Even the more unpleasant aspects in life can be viewed in a less negative light than is customary. They give us a wider range of the experience of being human and they can be valuable learning experiences. If you did not feel bad some of the time then you would not appreciate feeling good quite as much.
Also, seeing yourself in the context of the whole world with its many varied cultures which change over time also helps you to see your life from a different perspective. You will widen your concept of what is considered a “normal” life or a good life. Often we just compare ourselves to the lives of those around us rather than thinking of everyone on earth at different times in history.
Trying to capture that wonderment of simply being conscious is a useful exercise and can make us grateful for almost everything.
A well known Eastern haiku captures the feeling of wonderment at being alive:
I am cutting wood
I am drawing water
I am breathing
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