Do Not Give Up On Being Human (Future Design Studio has published this article of mine...)
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Encore ~ An additional performance…
How often in life are we asked to perform an encore? Wouldn’t that be a grand experience; to stand in front of an audience as they cheered you on for just one more.
In life, additional performances do not start with a roaring crowd begging for more. All too often, it starts with the silence of a loss….the loss of something, be it a career, relationship or your health. Do not expect applause.
Second act starts in silence. The curtains open and we stand in front of the silent crowd. The audience waiting for us to act; it is a scary moment when life asks us to perform. Insurmountable fear of where we must go next in life fills our entire being.
However, life is full of do-overs. We fall, we get up. It’s all part of the process of being human. Being human seems to be second nature to us, centrally not something that needs to be learned or experienced. Yet, as we age we forget how.
As babies we crawl by instinct, we walk by instinct, we dance to the music by instinct, we are motivated by a mother’s hug and a father’s smile. We knew how to be human by instinct, until the day that we forgot.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the notion of what it means to be human and how many of us forgot what it means to be human.
For the majority of us life’s second act will start after a loss and in the utter silence of our own mind. If feels as if we were cast in a play titled “Life” starring us and everybody has a script but you.
We watch the play of Life move scene by scene in front of us as we scramble to find the right words for our part in this play.
Maddening...mental hurdles trip us up on every step of the path leading us toward impenetrable problems.
The ancient Egyptians use the words “life” and “live” interchangeably to mean “reaching fulfillment to enter heaven”, thus giving us an understanding of why the notion of reincarnation never went away. We seek the hope of an encore even in death.
I imagine that if we understood death then all the small deaths in life’s journey would be easier to navigate our way through.
I surmise that we need to remember how to be human again; we need lessons on understanding death...the dreadful experience that will be the final scene in our play of Life.
Too often, lives are spent in fear and avoidance of this natural process that we all must experience. This fear and avoidance seeps into every pore of our life, in turn creating a life of avoiding this brief moment of “the here & now “.
As expecting parents we go to classes about birth and child rearing and we take these classes before that bundle of tenacious-maddening-joy is placed in our arms.
Why not classes on death? We all experience this final ending. We need to be taught.
If I was to teach a class about death, it would start off like a grand motivational speech in front of hundreds as if I were on Oprah’s Life Class or a PBS special. I would stand at over six feet tall and have extremely white teeth, for some reason to have any success as a motivation speaker you must be at least 6’ 5” with blinding white teeth.
I would open the class by repeating the phrase “Do Not Give Up On Being Human”. “Do Not Give Up On Being Human”. “Do Not Give Up On Being Human”…..I would have the audience chanting these words back at me. Tribal drum beats would start off low in the background erupting into an ever-growing cadence to enhance the importance of these words. A light show of red, purple and white would flash over the audience to generate a show that could only be compared to the aurora borealis lights of the great white north.
I would walk out on the stage waving my arms in the air telling the crown to get on up, get out of their seats. I would evoke the spirit of James Brown to capture and enthrall the crowd. It would be speculator!
I would walk to the center of the stage to give my homily on death.…
What is human? My answer is to create...anything.
That is our purpose: to create. I love the story of creationism vs. evolution. My favorite part is that we, humanity, were placed here last. After all the fruit was placed on the trees and the vegetables had grown out the ground, after the clean water ran down hill from the mountain tops, Earth-Gaia-God gave us life, human-life.
We have de-conditioned ourselves from discovering our purpose and living our calling. Dreaming out loud and dreaming quietly to ourselves has been crushed by culture, community and the boxes of time we live in. Life has been divided up into the many boxes of time: work time, family time, personal time, relationship time, running around time. There is no time left to “Do The Work”. To live our purpose and to find our calling you have to put in the work.
Today I give to you an additional performance on the 10 Commandments:
Commandment 1. Do not give up on being
Commandment 2. Do not let the machine think for you.
Commandment 3. Do not concern yourself with the results, concern yourself with the process.
Commandment 4. It’s OK to fail...fail often, fail forward, enjoy the failure.
Commandment 5. Living your purpose is living your calling.
Commandment 6. Do as little harm as possible and be aware of the harm that you do.
Commandment 7. Life is a True-Metaphor.
Commandment 8. Create something new, daily.
Commandment 9. Share.
Commandment 10. There is no #10... It’s up to you.
In the end death is nothing special. It’s not seeking you out or awaiting your arrival; it’s simply the natural process of reaching fulfillment to enter heaven.
Getting good at death is the best preparation for living a full life: to be prepared for your additional performance that all of us will experience … be it a career, relationship or your health
Enjoy your ENCORE!!!