The Sunset Teachings. This title has a zen-like ring to it. However, I do believe sunsets are among the most important treasures humankind can enjoy.
In fact, while they can be mind-blowing, inspiring, even soul lifting, they don’t give a damn about the way we think of them. Actually, they don’t give a damn even about whether or not we humans are still here to look at them. They just are.
At first blush this sounds like cold and indifferent determinism. Yet it teaches me some interesting facts. Some interesting and deeply human facts.
Who are you?
If you have something inside you that screams to get out, and, for whatever reason, you stifle it, you don’t turn into that something else. You just turn into an aborted version of the thing that screamed to be born.
True. Sometimes it can be difficult to became what you were meant to be. But on the long run it seems like the only viable solution to the problem of living a meaningful and healthier life.
This doesn’t mean you have to make drastic decisions, though sometimes they can be invaluable. It simply means you should honestly acknowledge what it is that defines yourself before your own eyes. And then keep those values straight in your mind.
Sure. There can’t be a billion Picassos going around. There can’t be billions of Dantes either. But the reason for such scarcity has nothing to do with the necessity we have for a society where people go to work every morning so that things keep functioning.
It simply has to do with the mere fact that not everyone is willing to put in the long hours of practice and study to reach the very top. It has to do with genetics. Childhood experiences. With luck. With the fizzle tastes of the public. Of the historical period. With who has come before, and most likely failed. With your past experiences.
So, the next time you feel like writing something, or drawing, or playing an instrument embrace the impulse. And do what every sunset does. Do your thing without waiting for an audience, without hoping for praise. Do that because it’s just a part of who you are.
Perseverance isn’t just a NASA rover
Sunsets teach me also two other important things. The first is perseverance. I mean, the sun has been setting on this planet we live on for something like five billion years. Five billion years. And yet, every day, when the time comes, you can bet a new sunset will take place.
So, even if you do it only for your own pleasure. Try hard to keep doing your own thing on a regular basis. Of course, given how different we all are, no schedule can be right for everyone. But every one of us knows when they’re skipping class, so to speak. So make sure you stop the skipping.
Pareto’s law is always at work
Finally, even if here on earth sunsets have been going on for almost half the age of the universe, when we look at them regularly we can notice that it’s only a small percentage of them we find particularly beautiful.
Now, apart from the fact that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this teaches me that if the mountains, the sea, the sky, the clouds, and the sun itself only manage to please us once in a while, why on earth should we expect to please anyone every time and with everything we come up?
So for the new year that is coming, I hope you’ll be able to start doing your thing — more and more often. Just that. Go and do your thing, even if nobody will ever know anything about it.
Pictures: moinzon – AdinaVoicu
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