Sunday Life Musings

Be still. I don’t think many weekend warriors would approve of this. Known as the YOLO/Travelife generation, our restlessness and quest for new places and new experiences to consume are boundless. We work to experience life. We grind to eat life. And yet we find that it is never enough.

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The endlessness of human desires is the cause of suffering. That’s what the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, told his followers. You think of suffering as hunger, physical pain, poverty, all kinds of deprivation. But what makes us suffer more is the endless wanting, the constant striving to be filled and the failure to satisfy it.

No. I won’t prescribe any form of spirituality. In my opinion, even Buddhism, especially Zen, has been bastardized by Western cultural appropriation. But what I would say is that you take your time to be still.

In the humdrum of life and the cacophony of the daily grind, it is easy to mistake activity for life. Most people live merry-go-around lives, moving but never going anywhere. Some people realize this and comfort themselves by stating as-a-matter-of-factly that this is their divinely-ordained place in life.

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Most people merely exist. They are like paper boats tossed around and about down the gutter of life with Pennywise waiting at the bottom of the drain. Of course, I’m kidding on the Pennywise side. But seriously, most people live simply to survive, to try to at least enjoy some vacay, get the new gadgets, secure a good pay, live in their own flat, and spend the rest of their lives in between loving arms. There’s nothing wrong with these. Sometimes, to endure is enough. To be thankful for what you have and to enjoy what life gives and takes are foundations for a bearable life.

Dying is easy; living is hard. To live fully, one must write her own story by her own hand with her own pen in her own paper. You have to decide whether you see your life as a means to something or as an end in itself. Do not become a slave to the life that you want. Because in the end, the emptiness of material things confronts us all.

Still yourself for a moment and pause. Drink deeply your thoughts. Collect them. And ask what drives you, what is it that moves your being. Does it have to be a happy ending? The story, your story, itself is important. Just live your life to the fullest.

Dom Balmes

Dom writes for pay by day and writes for passion by night. He is a Japan major at the University of the Philippines. He’s fond of ramen and anime but not of nice people.

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