It seems like in that popular movie a few years ago, I see dead people. But when I gaze into the reflection pool I fail to see the need for my old habits to die within. Perhaps habits are just insignificant, or maybe I’m feeling a bit insignificant myself?
How can you tell when you’re insignificant in the world?
Life was good and went on as usual. The bills were paid. The yard was manicured and maintained and the mail didn’t pile up in the mailbox. The woman that lived in this quiet neighborhood, rumored to be a person that traveled a lot, and so with the homes appearance of being empty, wasn’t all that unusual.
Automatic payments that maintained the façade suddenly couldn’t maintain the appearance–the bank account ran dry. So the mortgage holding company foreclosed on the property. Still, nobody noticed what had happened inside the house. Nobody wondered out loud what had become of the owner. Perhaps over the years people whispered, took guesses among themselves as to what became of their neighbor. Did they ask each other if they had seen her lately? Did they bother themselves to get to know the woman, knock on her door, visit, or chit-chat for a time regularly when she was home or last seen?
Instead, it appears, nobody batted an eyelash, or had enough concern to offer anything other than rumors to each other about the women’s absence.
Neighbors rarely heard from her because she kept to herself. This was the excuse and their reasoning.
No one was aware that anyone visited with her recently, or ever.
It was not common for her to leave for a week or two—even when she traveled back to Europe, it was not uncommon for her to be gone for a month or two, not seeing her wasn’t all that odd, the neighbors said.
The truth was, she had died some 6 years earlier. No one took it upon themselves to care, or ask each other when she was last seen. The woman was just out of sight, and just that fast, out of mind.
Who is more insignificant? This poor woman who apparently had no one in her life to care about her, or make her feel important enough to spend some time with her; or were the neighbors who thought small action on their parts as only being insignificant, only being concerned with the comings and goings of their own lives, barely capable of even take notice, placing guesses with each other on where is may be, instead of how she was? How sad, how empty?
Do we owe anything to society for there to be any improvement to it? Isn’t society built on the shoulders of individual’s that have gone before us? So what have learned or unlearned from our ancestors?
It seems the lottery of life isn’t built of any grounding positive principles anymore? The kind of good principles where everyone living is a winner. The kind of principles that impact or can impact everyone for the good, with good actions rather than ill actions. Society has become self-centered, self-absorbed, and fully engulfed with–what’s in it for me kinds of attitudes. It seem, as a society we consider ourselves as life’s lotto winners if everyone would only accept living in a judgment free zone, a boundary less existence, that has yet to come grips with letting go of religious confining boundary’s, or moral codes, or judgment calls. But then without values or boundary’s the sum total of life’s experience is insignificant isn’t it?
When was the last time you saw your neighbor…did you check up on them…help them…care about their lives just a little to want to listen to them? Or are you more of a person that sees themselves as life’s lotto winners already just picking up your prize and asking, “What’s in it for me?” before taking any action?
Of course, if I expect to win the lottery of life doesn’t that mean that someone else or a lot of people have to lose?
Image, so many people who see life and living it, as being so insignificantly important, that the only effort made are selfish ones. What’s in it for me… seeing no real value to act, no real return for actions made, people only moving through the motions yet completely empty…the living dead.
People aren’t defined by what they do for their living, or by their personal possessions they have or can still obtain. It isn’t the dreams we dream that defines us, or makes us different. It’s not the dreams that we capture or those that happen to just slip through our fingers, that breathes life into–or kills our successes. Therefore it isn’t the popularly defined meaning of what success is that produces success—for even the poor at heart and pocket, have great ability to succeed, to expose shared hidden successes, by giving of one’s self, or by gifting to society a better content of individual character.
Character is that public education so often miss-taught. We learn it through observations of others, contemplating what we see and hear while looking for some kind of acceptance of it, within a reflection of our own personal values. Then deciding over time how to act towards others by the use of our newly found character.
If we place our security on stuff, or value our actions upon receiving stuff, we will become more personally involved in search of more stuff to fill the value void.(That hollow shell of the walking dead) It’s difficult to satisfy the increasingly emptiness inside, that void, by denying the interconnectedness to our neighbors, to our society, while only looking out for number one.
Individually our courage is always tested when we are most venerable, and feel that our actions are the most insignificant. If you’re struggling with that, it means that you’re progressing, and living. The living dead don’t think, or think through their actions before they act. They just go on oblivious to their surroundings, and other people’s silent needs.
No matter how many mistakes that we make, refusing to smile at someone, or shaking someone’s hands while saying hello, how are you? No matter how little time that we have, the most valuable gift that we all have is our time. When we understand that, we will choose to act accordingly to how we would like to be remembered when we are gone. We all have a limited amount of heart beats—who knows how many we have left? Will we use them to make a difference? Improvements can happen no matter how slow the progression seems, if we choose to act positively, with a sense of purpose. And that puts us all ahead of those who aren’t even trying.
If you want to be successful, to be one of life’s lotto winners, and make an improvement to yourself, community, or society, you must respect one rule.(1) Never to lie to yourself say that you don’t know what to try.
People who are alone, who feel themselves as only being insignificant to others, are easily impressed with the smallest of individual acts.
It’s limited actions and self-absorbed inactions, that defines people as the living dead. It’s not that I see dead people in order to point finger at them, but I’m tired of looking into the reflection pool and seeing what could have been–if only I hadn’t been one of the living dead?
(For the story that inspires this post click on the link)
Woman’s auto-payments hid her death for six years http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/07/us/michigan-mummified-body-found/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter