Life's Lessons: With These Eyes I See
The hair is grayer now. The once dark brown has all but disappeared, replaced with a snowy mantle that marks the passage of time. Just as the leaves change colors in the Fall, I am now in the autumn of my life, and my time on Earth is marked by the subtle changes that are occurring. It is as it should be!
The stride is slightly shorter now; it is no longer the hectic covering of distance but rather the careful measuring of appreciation that is much more precious than it once was. That, too, is as it should be!
The muscles, once sinewy, young and strong, now find that time has robbed them of unlimited possibilities, and yet they still carry the body well, moving forward despite obstacles, and that is as it should be!
The bones, those precious pillars of structure, may not be brittle yet but they now recognize that immortality is nothing more than a dream of the young and yes, that is as it should be!
The skin, once smooth and as beautiful a protective layer as one could imagine, is scarred and showing the lines of time and fate; still, those lines demonstrate a life well-lived and that, too, is as it should be!
A quick glance in the mirror, nothing more than a second or two in passing, still holds feint glimpses of that young man who firmly believed that life was his personal oyster, waiting only for him to shuck it. Stop in front of that mirror, though, and spend some time gazing, and the reality will hit home with the force of truth, that shucking season is coming to an end, and every moment is precious.
And oh my yes, that is as it should be!
They have witnessed much, these eyes of mine. They have seen villages napalmed, animals slaughtered, rioting in the streets of Freedomland, and life fade from loved ones. They have seen abuse, they have been blurred from over-indulgence, and they have cringed when forced to watch man’s inhumanity towards man. They have cried when confronted with scenes of injustice and almost closed permanently when the fight seemed to be too much to endure.
And yet….today they see signs of hope all around. They see a young mother lovingly nurture a new life; they see strangers reach out to those in need; and they see colors where once there was only gray.
These eyes see positives where once there was only bitterness and resentment, and they crinkle and shine when faced with love and compassion. Today they still cry, but the tears shed are as much because of love and empathy as from disgust and sadness.
They have heard words of hatred over the years, these ears of mine. They have heard the sounds of bigotry and prejudice, the sounds of gunfire, and the muffled screams of indifference when all around there were cries for help.
They have heard the sounds of silence from those who should speak out, and they have heard the rhetoric of those who seek to divide and conquer.
Still, they have heard words of comfort for those who are lost or broken. They have listened to the sweet melodies of music created by artists in love with life, and they have rejoiced when the sweet spring wind has whispered in the trees and nature has responded with a chorus of tranquility.
And yes, they have heard the words “I love you” spoken to a crying infant and a dying man.
With this mouth I have spoken words of anger, and chastised those who did not deserve it. This mouth has oozed sarcasm, dripped ridicule, and chosen negativity over positive energy. Armed with a workable knowledge of the English language this mouth has failed, at times, to live up to potential, and has sought plunder rather than compassion.
With experience comes enlightenment, however, and today this mouth can uplift those who need it desperately. This mouth can speak for those who have no voice, and can provide comfort and support for those who feel alone.
And yes, this mouth now says “I love you” loudly, clearly, and often.
Lessons in Life...The Video
These hands have delivered blows to fellow human beings, and have been instruments of waste and excess. They have torn down rather than built, defiled rather than created, and spent countless hours in pursuit of selfish endeavors.
And yet….these hands today find the beauty in a woman’s skin, and marvel at the texture of a flower petal. They reach out today to show compassion, and they lift up those who can no longer stand on their own. These hands are fully capable on this day of being the creators of beauty, the safe haven for a person in need of a hug, and the symbol of gentleness.
And yes, these hands can now express love to others through their touch.
It beats strongly today, 75-80 beats per minute, the motor that propels this human vessel on its daily journey, and yet it is so much more than a mere engine. It weighs about ten ounces, made up of tissue and blood vessels, and yet it is so much more than a biological piece of the puzzle. This heart of mine has been a cold harbor, shut off from the world, a Middle Ages fortress defending against pain, and seemingly incapable of giving humanness.
Today….ah, today….today this heart can provide empathy for those who are suffering. This heart can open itself wide and be a haven of peace for those in need of shelter. This heart is capable today of being a shining example of all that is good about human beings and yes, today, this heart can, and does, love.
My Kindle Book on Life
- Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Lifestyle Choices: William D. Holland: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
The Reason For Living
- Love: The Word, The Meaning
Love is more than just a word; love is...the single most important thing in life.
Be The Engine of Change
Positive thoughts produce positive actions and a positive lifestyle. This isn't rocket science folks; you are what you think!
SO WHAT ARE THESE LESSONS IN LIFE?
What is wisdom? To this author, wisdom is the culmination of lessons learned over a lifetime. It has nothing to do with IQ or book smarts, and so much to do with an ability to look over the landscape of your life and extract lessons from that landscape. Is it possible to live a lifetime and not learn lessons from it? Does that level of cluelessness even exist?
As I near the celebration of my sixty-fourth year, I have found a natural desire to look back and learn from it all. What would be the point of any of it if I did not gain insight from it? I would just be one of millions of mammals who left a foot print and moved on, if not for the lessons learned.
So what have I learned?
I have learned that I have the ability to make this world a better place to live. I am not helpless nor am I without capabilities. I was given a body that is a marvel of engineering. I was given a mind capable of rational thinking. I was given willpower and determination with which to forge ahead despite obstacles and setbacks.
I have learned that what happens from this day forward is dependant, to a great degree, upon me and my actions. I can choose to be tossed about by the economic and political factors, or I can choose to meet them head on and find a path that frees me from outside influences.
I can choose to be an instrument of humility, or I can become one of the selfish, egocentric masses who only see their needs as important.
I can choose to be a beacon of peace and compassion, or I can turn my back on a world desperately in need of caring human beings.
And yes, I can be the face of love, or I can choose to give up on my primary purpose in life.
What have I learned over the first sixty-four years? I have learned that I can move mountains. I have learned that I can overcome devastating hardships. I have learned that I am capable of so much more than I have accomplished to date.
And I have learned that there is nothing more important in life than love!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)