"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." - Arundhati Roy
At dawn, when I have trouble getting out of bed, I tell myself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” I ask, “Was I born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t I see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? Am I not willing to do my job as a human being? Why aren’t I running to do what my nature demands? I remind myself of my defining characteristic— what defines all human beings — the need to work with others.
"The other day I was walking along the river. The wind was blowing. Suddenly I thought, Oh! The air really exists. We know that the air is there, but unless the wind blows against our face, we are not aware of it. Here in the wind I was suddenly aware, yet it's really there. And the sun too. I was suddenly aware of the sun, shining through the fare trees. Its warm, its brightness, and all this completely free, completely gratuitous. Simply there for us to enjoy. And without my knowing it, completely spontaneously, my two hands came together, and I realized that I was making a deep and reverent bow. And it occurred to me that this is all that matters: that we can bow, take a deep bow. Just that. Just that." ---Rev. Eido Tai Shimano