The Gifts We’ve Already Been Given

“… so I can finally get everything I’ve always wanted.”

Why does any variation of the above statement, or thought, even exist in our vocabulary?

I’ve thought about that a lot recently.  Up until April of 2011, this entered my thoughts, and my own vocabulary quite a bit.  Too much, in fact.

I mean, have you ever just stopped what you were doing, and wondered in awe about the gifts we’ve already been given?

Most people haven’t.

I hadn’t either, until 2011, when some bad health circumstances changed the way I view my life, and life in general.

Folks, we don’t have time for all of this consumerist crap, filling landfills with two year old computers and gadgets and “stuff.”

(stop and think about that for a second, TWO year old computers, can’t we get our gadgets to last longer than that?  imagine the impact on our landfills if we could buy something that lasts…)

And here’s the real kicker, we already have all of the gifts we need to be content without all of this useless stuff… if we just open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts wide enough to see them, feel them, and think about them.

Here are some examples of the gifts we have been given…

  • The wind.  Have you ever thought about its raw power and simplicity?
  • The water (that hasn’t been polluted yet).  It fills any shape effortlessly, and I sometimes wonder why it can, and we can’t.
  • The fire (no images of Tom Hanks and Mr. Wilson, now 😉 ).  It gives us the building blocks for heat and energy, yet it’s taken for granted every single day.
  • The arrangement (Nature herself).  The most beautiful art canvas in the world exists all around us… if we stop long enough to see it.
  • Our minds.  We understand very little about them (still), yet we breath every day, we think every day, we do so much with them every day… that we forget about them every day.

And aside from all of these gifts, which if you stopped long enough to enjoy them, would fill your life with enough content to last longer than the 70 – 100 years we live…

… aside from all of these gifts, we have one that is taken for granted, one that is lost amongst all of the “hustle and bustle,”  one that gets forgotten when the latest i-Whatever gets advertised…

… the ability to wonder.

Have you ever just stopped (notice how often I’m asking if you’ve stopped?)… and wondered about things?

And not just a cursory, check that, FAKE type of “wonder.”

I mean the kind of wonder that gets YOU lost researching on the Internet, to where you’ve forgotten about all of your worries.  The kind of wonder where you start critically thinking about something that has limitless potential (our Universe, for example).

The kind of wonder that allows you to stand in awe at how something was formed in Nature.  No, reading National Geographic doesn’t count either.

This kind of wonder allows you to instantly scrape away all of the hype, marketing, unwarranted opinions, etc… and simply stare at something, read something, see something in Nature etc… and ask our most powerful question…


Why does that rock formation sit there, 420 miles from any large enough body of water to move them?  (yes, we have some of those near Spokane, WA, and they were set there by glaciers thousands of years ago)

Why does the Blue Heron in the pond by our house fly right up to us when we walk by him (her?) and “talk” to us?

Why do Chaos Theory, Information Theory, and the Theory of Everything impact our lives, in so many unknown ways?

Why do people say we live in a “violent” society, when violence has declined over the years?

Why did the Internet, and after that, the World Wide Web, become such a large part of our lives? (the real reasons, not the media hyped reasons)

Why did the Mona Lisa end up where she currently resides?

These questions represent the “wrapping paper” around the gifts inside of them.  Unwrap them, but carefully, because I’ve literally shared a decade’s worth of awe and wonder here.  You’ll have to wonder a little first, to be able to truly “unwrap” them.

But don’t stop here.

These are just starters… the beginning.  We’ve already been handed thousands of gifts from Nature, from Life, and from the Earth.

And what I’m really asking you today, is to never stop wondering… ask “why” things are the way they are.  Unwrap these gifts with these two “powers”… drown yourself in what we’ve been given already.

Then, I hope the next time an i-Whatever comes out, or you get the urge to mindlessly shop for stuff that will eventually end up going to Goodwill anyhow, or you start bitching and moaning about a 24 hour shipment that didn’t arrive on time…

… that you resist that urge with these gifts you’ve already been given.

You see, we only have 70 – 100 trips around the Sun (yet another gift in itself), and I’m sure you have a gift of your own to share with the world.

We’re waiting for you to share yours.  Have a safe and quiet Holiday Season.  See you in 2014.