Sunday, May 23, 2010
How many days have you had then?
I was a tad disconcerted recently to come across a website - www.peterrussell.com/age.php - that could calculate for me in a millisecond how many days I’ve been alive. For me, it’s more than 23 thousand days.
Terrifying thought! Of course, not all of those thousands of days have been in any way special. Life just progressed. Chores were done. I turned up at work. I cooked, showered, slept, talked, walked, shopped and drove around. All pretty darned ordinary, really, except for the miracle of being alive at all. We take that for granted usually, unless we’ve survived something that should have or could have killed us. Then life itself becomes stunningly interesting.
Russell (pictured right) has a hugely expansive worldview and is the author of some pretty profound books. I loved his "The Global Brain Awakens". He prefers of think of his life in days rather than years. “I can hold a day’s experience in mind quite easily,” he writes on his site. It’s much harder, he says, to go back and take stock of a whole year. Many incidents and discoveries are inevitably forgotten.
He also finds it more meaningful to think he’s lived through more than 20,000 days, rather than 50-plus years. “And it reframes the future. I have, probably, thousands of days still to come. Thousands new days to discover, enjoy and learn from.”
I don’t quite agree with him. I think we can go back and take stock of events many years after they’ve occurred. But I do agree that life is all about discovering, enjoying, and learning about your existence. Your life, everyone’s life, is unique. It deserves to be noticed and celebrated.
I heard Peter speak at a conference once and was amused by his pointing out of the totally obvious. He was trying to get us to think fresh, think real. He did it by getting us to consider sunset. Humans have been saying sunset (and sunrise) for gazillions of year. After all, the sun does seem to us earthbound citizens to set and rise. But it's a very long time since we've known that actually the sun doesn't go anywhere - it's just that the earth keeps on rotating. But we don't care and just keep on mis-labelling the appearance and disappearance of that bright old light in the sky. Does us good to think about things differently, I reckon.
- ► 2012 (13)
- ► 2011 (24)
- ▼ 2010 (21)
- ► 2009 (17)
- ► 2008 (9)