For the most part, when the vast many of us think about this day, the things that readily come to mind are barbeques, getting together with friends and family, the onset of summer and, of course, a blessed, always welcome, day off work!
All good stuff, admittedly.
And while we all know, in the back of our heads, that the holiday is really about those who have fought and died for us, truth be told, that notion usually isn’t what’s at the forefront of our holiday festivities. Yes, we are grateful. Yes, we may take a moment to remember, perhaps even visit a gravesite. But is that really all those people deserve?
To truly honor the people who died for us, perhaps we ought to learn to Truly Live.
It seems to me, truly living is becoming a lost art in these times. When I look around me, I don’t see a world of people who look or seem to feel truly alive. I see people exhausted. Bleary eyed and uninspired. Standing on train platforms in a trance. Sitting at tables together with people they love but engaging in their phones rather than their company.
I see lots of people who are undead. But, who, at the same time, aren’t quite alive. And that, my friends, is the definition of a zombie.
Yep, I’m saying it, somewhere along the line, the brutal realities of life as we have created it has turned the human race into a bunch of zombies.
Does that sound harsh? I don’t mean it like that at all. It’s just that, everywhere I look (in the mirror included), I see humans walking around unaware and half dead.
I can’t help but wonder what those brave peeps who died for us would say if they saw us walking through life in our zombiefied state, hearts beating but not pumping us full of inspiration and love. Letting our jobs, our illnesses and our self imposed limitations suck the life out of us. Letting our doctors, our bosses, our debt and our doubt tell us how to live. All these things equate to dying a little bit inside ourselves.
And I, for one, think we can do better.
Those brave people who died so we could live deserve to see us alive with happiness at the privilege and honor of being here at this party called Life. So perhaps its time we start tapping into the things that make us feel alive.
And for my money, those things are four fold. Passion. Joy. Presence. Love
These are the four horsemen of the anti-apocalypse. And together they make for most pleasant wake up call on the planet.
The only alarm bells they set off are the ones we want to hear. Long to hear, actually.
Passion, Joy, Presence and Love are a powerful elixir. They have the undeniable power to pull us out of our trance like state and make us pulse with aliveness. When you think about it, some combination of these four guide and govern the all of our lives – from the people in our hearts to the books on our shelves. They even have the power to stop or speed up time. With them, time flies. Without them, it drags.
And the beauty of each of these is that they are readily available to each and every one of us. They exist and are accessible inside us as long as we live. Which, thanks to the brave soldiers of wars past, is something we are all currently doing.
So today, to honor those who have died, I, for one, am pledging from here on out wake up, rub the zombie out of my eyes and really, really, reeeeallllly be alive. Join me?
©2012 The Book Of Duh, Merry Carole Powers and Sarah Feit Cornett