It strikes me that the better off we are the more we are without a reverence for life; to treat something or someone with reverence is to treat that something or someone with a feeling or attitude of deep respect.
I am rushing, you are rushing, we are rushing from one moment to the next. Do we really appreciate the coffee we have just bought from Starbucks? Do you even taste it? I mean really taste it? I got present to the fact that whilst I drink tea, I really do not drink the tea: my mind is elsewhere and I do not taste the tea nor create any joy in drinking it.
Do you and I have a reverence for the clean water that arrives instantly via the tap? No. Now imagine if you are one the flood victims in Pakistan and do not have access to clean water. Or if you have to walk an hour to the nearest source of clean water and you can only take the water that you can carry. If you were in that situation and someone waved a magic wand and gave you unlimited clean water at your fingertips by just turning a tap. Would you not be simply ecstatic? You’d treat that tap, that water source, with reverence!
In the West most of us live in abundance. Because so much stuff is ready at hand – the essentials and the nice to have – we simply do not appreciate the stuff that we have. It strikes me that we have reverence only for the stuff that is rare, hard to obtain. And of course we surrounded by messages that are designed to create dissatisfaction in us so that we buy the latest mobile phone, handbag, shoes, computer, car…..
I have found it is possible to recreate reverence for life and living by simply being present in the moment. And focusing on what is there as opposed to what is not. That is to say to feeling the sunshine on my face as the sun shines. By appreciating the wind kissing my feet as I lay on the bench. Or tasting each and every sip of tea that I take. It is not easy as the temptation is to multi-task, to be either in the future or in the past.
We can increase our joy simply by being present to every moment, every experience and every bit of stuff that we have. I have found that treating each as if it is my last really helps. My last meal, my last walk, my last cup of tea, my last hug.