Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Love Life. You Should, Too.

In both my professional and personal lives, I meet all kinds of people. Most of the time, I find those I meet honest, rational and good natured. Just as often, however, I meet people who are philosophically confused or, in some cases, downright negative about their lives. They conclude, upon paying attention to the news, that human nature is base, that man is prone to stupidity and self destruction. When I politely disagree with this position, as I often do, the response is predicable: I must be one of those blind optimists ignorant of the horrors of mankind. I disagree with this, too, but at that point in a conversation, there is little value in expounding on the glory that is man.

You see, for as long as I can remember, I have been a lover of life. Not just any life. My own life. My parents taught me always to question and always to seek out the best for myself. I have done that. I have criss-crossed the planet numerous times, learnt a second language fluently, worked in private enterprise for more than 20 years and uprooted myself more times than most people move house. Whenever I have reached a lull or felt a burn out coming on, I have set forth goals to change my life so I can continue moving forward. In my mind, there is no sitting still.

One would think with all my worldly ways that I would adopt a cynical attitude. After all, there are some real scoundrels walking the face of the planet, many of them elected to political offices in my country of birth as well as in Australia. There are rapists, murderers, genocidal dictators, and insane theocrats bent on human destruction.

And then there is man. Man the explorer. Man the inventor. Man the thinker. There are the glorious products of man all around us: lightning fast computers, cars that zip through the teeming streets of my favourite cities of the world, skyscrapers that still make me gasp in awe of the greatness man possesses and the list goes on and on and on. I walk down the streets of Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane or Wellington and smell the delightful coffees being prepared for eager patrons. Nowhere else on earth is coffee quite as revered as it is in Australia and New Zealand. It is my daily evidence that despite all the bad news, the most common occurrence today is life being lived -- and at a level our ancestors would envy.

Now, some of you might admonish me for insisting that you love life, too. Aren’t I imposing my views on you? Aren’t I committing the same sin I so frequently castigate others for, which is: telling people how to live?

Well, no. In fact, I don’t care if other people love life. It won’t stop me from loving mine any less. I will continue to ignore those lamenters and sad sacks. What I mean that you should love life is that I am inviting you to do it. I implore you to find values for which you are passionate and go after them. Quit worrying about global warming or other fashionable bugbears and find a job that excites you, a romantic partner who reveres you, a hobby that energises you. Be your own self improvement project and never let up.

I have a confession to make. I want you to love life for purely selfish reasons. The more you go after and the more you achieve, the more I want to know you and the more I want to be your friend. I have no use for cynics and crybabies. Passionate valuers will always be on my A list, so if you want to get in good with Jason, be the kind of man or woman who says yes to life and means it.

Now stop reading this article and get busy living.

1 comment:

  1. I never cease to be inspired by your writing, and your thoughts.

    I agree, there is a tendancy to forget to love life and enjoy the experience.

    I like Milan Kundera's quote "Nothing is more repugnant to me than brotherly feelings grounded in the common baseness people see in one another."

    I come back to you and this blog now and then for a reminder, that there is so much I love in my life and that its those things and people that I need to involve myself with.

    I'm definitely busy living, and loving it. Just now and then I get distracted. :-)