I’ve been thinking a lot lately about permanence. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about the lack of permanence. Each day, most of us drive alone in an automobile big enough for five adults to an office where we work all day, drive back to our homes filled with personal belongings–only to repeat the next day… and the next…
We view our jobs as permanent employment. Our homes as permanent housing. The existence of all of our material posessions as permanent. We view relationships with the people that we love the most as permanent. But permanence is an illusion.
Standing alone on a clear and cold morning appreciating the beauty of the ocean, I became fully aware of the impermanence of everything we work so hard to hold onto in life. I’ve stood in that same spot countless times over the last 20 years, and for the first time I realized that not one inch of that beach is as it was the last time I was there. What are the implications of believing in permanence. We begin to take things for granted. Complacency creeps into our work. We develop false senses of security both in our professional and personal lives.
What does an existence look like when everything is viewed as impermanent? Work is more fulfilling. We learn as much as possible and leave behind a better environment than the one we inherited. The motivation to move on to the next job is fueled by an intrinsic drive to learn more and to provide more value. Believing that relationships are impermanent forces both parties to treat each other with the love and respect that they deserve. More effort is put in, and the result is closer and more valuable relationships. Material items begin to be looked at differently if we consider their existence as impermanent.
To change one’s perspective on permanence each moment of every day needs to be lived deliberately. It takes conscious effort and hard work to do so. I am beginning my journey of appreciating impermanence. I will be documenting my journey on this website. Items that will be explored early on include: decluttering my life, focusing in on creation vs. consumption, and living deliberately to continue to learn and provide value to the world.