We live one life (at a time, at any rate – for those of you who believe in reincarnation). We come into this life devoid of knowledge, and spend a lifetime trying to acquire it, trying to sort out what is meaningful vs what is not, trying to determine among all that knowledge which pieces of it relate to us, which bits of wisdom we should use to shape who we are and what we do – all in the hopes of finding a place in the world that suits us – a destiny that pleases our spirit.
Along the way there are many things that we do, some that we see to define us. We might play sports, or be in a band, or sing or dance. We may be writers or artists. Some of us might see those things as part of who we are to be – what we have to offer the world. For others, those pursuits may just be parts of what we use to distract us from the stresses and concerns of a complex world, separate from what we see as to be our true direction. Regardless, for many or most of us – we seek to find that thing that in our minds justifies our existence, that differentiates us from the amoeba or from plants growing in our garden.
And whether there be, or not be that differentiator, in fact matters little in the lives of many – those who just live to get from point a – birth to point b – death. Those who see life as a envelope for the pursuits of income, property and things. Those who measure their being in terms of their accomplishments, their wealth, and their accolades. For those, regardless of the accomplishments, wealth, or accolades – that differentiator is minimal.
Those people who do differentiate themselves from the amoeba are those who realize that the reason for our existence is to care, to truly care, to love, to share, to build a better existence not for ourselves only but for any and all of those around us who we have the means to better. Some of us may do that with our hands, some with our voices, or our words on paper, or even through the expenditure of wealth that we worked to accumulate. But to really be that differentiator is to do those things with our hearts first. To do the things we do with love, and concern, and passion, and determination that our goal – first and foremost – is not that we be known when we die for how great we were, but to know for ourselves when we die that the things we did were done with great love, with great hope, and with great passion for others.