Today is a perfect summer day. The sky is mostly clear with a few fluffy white clouds slowly floating by. There is a soft, cool breeze. The birds are chirping, and the butterflies are flitting. I can hear in the distance the sound of a lawnmower and the shouts of the kids playing softball at the local high school. And surprisingly, I actually took some time to sit lazily in the yard to simply relax and enjoy it all. My neurotic dog is even relaxing under a tree. As I sat there soaking in the sun, I thought to myself: "It's a wonderful day to be alive."
What does it mean to be fully alive? Are there certain basic needs for us to feel fully human? My dad recently had an operation and was left unable to swallow. Prior to the operation, he was perfectly fine. It was a common procedure with very little risk involved. Today he is home unable to swallow even a drop of water. He has a feeding tube. Is he fully alive? There is a man from Australia I've seen on YouTube who was born with no arms and legs; what about him? There are people in captivity, people deathly ill; some are blind, deaf, or both. There are people with no family, people who are hungry, illiterate, emotionally unstable, psychologically disturbed, severely depressed. Are they or do they even have the capacity to be fully alive -- fully human?
I believe that we hold deep within us everything we need to be fully alive. We all have different abilities, disabilities, and circumstances, but each of us has within something invisible that is enough to be even beyond fully human. That's not to say that some of us don't need assistance to discover this core and to awaken it. We may need medication, or assistance, or encouragement -- but there is no doubt within us something supernatural and marvelous. There is within us something that keeps us persevering through the hardest times and something that can also give us much more than that.
It's not the weather, the food, the visions or the sounds. It's not our talents or our jobs; our houses or our towns. It's not even our bodies, our age, or our appearance. It's something so deep we can almost overlook it because we're so busy looking around us and outside of us. There's a spirit inside that can survive on its own. It doesn't listen to the loud voices. It doesn't see the extravagance that surrounds us. It is simple. It is quiet. It is the essence of joy. It is love.
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