I just finished working out and caught myself thinking I should go upstairs and just throw myself down on my couch and watch some TV. At that moment a phrase popped into my head. I realize this sounds stupid and cliche, but literally the phrase just kind of jumped out at me.
I said to myself, or if you want to go deeper, my consciousness said to myself, “Be an active participant of life.”
I kind of smiled and thought, “Hey that’s a pretty good line. I wonder if I stole that from somewhere.”
The phrase actually got to me, since most folks just blow through life existing and not participating. So I decided to look it up on Google (sorry Bing users), and came back with six results. Six results from Google is like (insert witty phrase that means rare, think New Yorkers waving).
The strange part is every reference was some website related to “starting over,” including a literary reference (again Google came to my rescue – sorry Bing users), and produced a quote from a book about Oscar Wilde called, “Oscar Wilde and the yellow nineties.”
Long note short, I am disappointed that this phrase seems to be linked to some sort of depressing past occurrence. “Be an active participant of life” should not be a phrase you say coming off of tragedy or life altering event, but a phrase you say every day you’re living life.
Every single day, every single person, has the ability to alter life for themselves and others around them. I forgot that, as do most people when life becomes routine and predictable, but if you aren’t living life to truly participate in it, then what’s the point.
I realize again that folks will be questioning, “How do I participate?,” or “I participate at my job every day.” Let me clarify for everyone who now thinks I am some sort of self-help junkie (never read one in my life). When I say participate I mean the following:
- Share your talent with others (every one has something to share)
- Create (food, art, music, sculpture, pottery, writings, anything)
- Read and learn when ever possible
- Debate and question how things work and why
- Community events, causes, or campaigns you actually care about (just don’t bug me constantly with them)
- If you have children don’t stop teaching (morals, ethics, values, principles, and knowledge)
- Talk to a neighbor. Engage people for once at a bar or a public setting. Smile when you see someone on the street.
- Look up from your phone once in awhile to see actual people around you with actual feelings and issues and lives. (Similar to the one above but the new phone and digital age is making me frustrated, and I add to it with what I love to do at work so aint that ironic)
- Take control over your own destiny. Believe that you can actually do anything you want to. It isn’t just something your parents told you. It is just that your parents need to remind you when you are young, since most of them never did it themselves. They need to pass on the knowledge in hopes that you take it, or at least one day tell your children the same.
- Be a realist but an optimist whenever possible about people and life. It is great to be sarcastic and negative sometimes (for those that know me this is definitely not smoke up your hooha), but deep down know that helping people and caring about people is truly more rewarding.
- Try to write blogs about big lofty things like life and then forget even what you are writing about, because your attention span has kicked in and you want to play your guitar.
- Try to end lists with some big wow factor that makes people leave your note and change their lives.
So “be excellent to one another,” oh wait wrong quote. I mean – be an active participant in life, because one day you will be gone, and unless you’re Hindu you wont be coming back.