Yet this glimpse of a life with no guarantees is worth sitting with for a while longer. Buddhism teaches that nothing is permanent. The only certainties are sickness, old age and death. Rather than being morbid, this is about an enlightened approach to living.
We spend much of our daily lives checked out: on deadline, on task, too busy to let our emotions "get in the way". Feeling, after all, can be pretty uncomfortable and counter-productive in the Western sense of just needing to get things done.
When the red cups start appearing at coffee shops in mid-October, butterflies start to stir in my belly. When the holiday lights go up at department stores, I may roll my eyes, but inside, my heart is secretly going pitter-patter.
Dull moments in our days are inevitable, but we have a choice of how we will respond to them. Are we medicating with technology or are we noticing the experience? Numbing out or building coping skills? Avoiding the uncomfortable feelings or reconstructing our days to be less boring?
Imagine a world where we respected our time as much as we did money. Time is so precious that every year we celebrate our birthdays with joy and love. And often, presents. But as we get older, there is a generation of people who are starting to value experiences more than gifts.
What if we looked at violence in America as a public health crisis rather than a crime problem? What if we look for promising practices and expanded the ones that work to eliminate the epidemic of violence that keeps our graveyards, jails, and prisons full?