Our friend passed away.
Now there’s a vast boundless void
where his smile once was.
I wrote this haiku to honor my friend Robert, who in his younger years successfully climbed to the summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador. (On a whim, with one friend and a guide!) His free spirit, adventurous side was an inspiration to those around him. He loved to travel and experience new places and cultures.
When is the last time you took a risk? That is, to find and/or express an important part of you that is as yet unfulfilled? Society tends to encourage us to “play it safe” at almost any cost. But that safe zone causes us to feel bored, at which point the marketer says, “This new toy will make you feel better”. And the banker says, “You can have that right now! Pay me later”. We’ve been lied to. It’s a deep, insidious trap. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with owning and enjoying nice things. That is, as long as they are not the source of our feelings of self-worth. And, if we’re not going into debt to salve our void.
How often do any of us deeply smile? You know, the kind of smile that comes from a place of “the true essence of me, and why I came here, feels fulfilled”. I look at myself and think not as much as I’d like. But, I’m working on it. Because my smile and your smile, and that pure joy we’ve been waiting too long to claim, will go a long way towards healing this troubled world.
Related story: Making Friends with Fear