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“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss
The ever-imposing sun humbly gives way to the night. The circadian rhythms of nature play out in front of me as the Sun God shies behind the magnificence of the rifts of the Great Valley. Watching nature play its course from a little gazebo, I am reminded of how everything – good or bad – comes to an end eventually. Life perishes just as miraculously as it comes into existence. So do stars. And so does everything else in between – experiences, material luxuries, relationships, emotional states and even existence of species. The list goes on. One of the very few certainties in life is that nothing is permanent, except for change. And yet, most people fail to realize this.
Many things we experience are completely out of our control and all we can do is wait. But we do have total control over how we do the waiting. If it is something we do not want to end, we have the choice to agonize ourselves by continuously thinking of the inevitable fact that it will end one day. We could also be enjoying it thoroughly until it comes to an end. Happiness is completely a choice. Human desire is an unending ‘phenomenon’ only as long as we let our minds to believe so.
The Iraqw people of northern Tanzania live a simple life around the Great Lakes region of East Africa; making a living raising cattle and selling their art to tourists who visit their awe-inspiring land. Their smiles, a reflection of content with what life bestows upon them. Little children return from their schools with tiny, colorful backpacks and greet you “Mambo” with infectious smiles. You can’t help but smile back and feel good about everything life has blessed you with. It is a reminder that wherever you are, and whatever you are doing in life, it is for you to appreciate and enjoy it. Surely not as simple as it sounds, but also certainly nowhere close to being impossible. Perspective is what it simply comes down to; how you choose to see things in life, and how you decide to make use of what you have.
In a few months my stay in East Africa will come to an end, at least for now. But there is always that new chapter waiting to be penned down. It is for us to decide what we write; potentially greater things to look forward to. Whatever life throws at you, one thing is for sure. Never will you experience something exactly as what you are right now. And you will probably never see things like you do right now. And for the very same reasons, let us all live the very moment we are in and experience life as it happens. Let the tomorrow wait for you, not the other way round because as they say it in Swahili, “Hakuna matata” – there are no worries.
@karkis, Wow! You just summed up pretty much all of Buddhist philosophy. Thank-you for your great reminder and powerful positive message! “wherever you are, and whatever you are doing in life, it is for you to appreciate and enjoy it.” YES! And another “yes” regarding “perspective”. Indeed. Peace, Love & Light ~ ricky
wow that last paragraph.. i love it! i am adding that to my notebook of inspirational quotes and notes. thanks!
@karkis Not only is this a great post but coincidentally I have come across this only a week after returning from Tanzania myself! I was there for a little over a month…I did not get to interact much with the Iraqw tribe as I spent most of my time around the Maasai, but that’s not to say they were likely similar in their attitudes. It was amazing to experience the friendliness and learn about their outlook on life. Thanks again!
@kankles, Thanks. There’s so much to learn from those people, I tell you. I did spend a considerable amount of time with the Maasai too, and yes they are very similar people, in attitude and outlook on life. Glad to know that you know what I’m talking about. :)
I wonder what it is about Tanzania that has attracted so many of us? I spent a month in Zanzibar about half a year ago. It was certainly one of the best months of my life. I loved learning the language and getting to know some of the people. They live such a beautiful way of life.
I went with an incredible organization called One Heart Source (http://www.oneheartsource.org/).
I’m living in Taiwan now, which is awesome. But I can’t shake the feeling that learning Swahili was a lot more fun than learning Chinese. I will definitely be back to Zanzibar and Tanzania in the next couple of years!