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Do you see your life as a gift?

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  • #88837
    jock
    Participant

    I saw someone being interviewed recently on TV. He was an advocate for euthanasia. He was then asked the same question. His answer was unconvincing, as I recall.
    So do you see your life as a gift?
    Do I see mine as a gift?
    You know I don’t but I feel I should. I feel I have an obligation to use my talents (mmm. however small), to the best of my ability. There is a sadness if I waste my life, sitting on the fence, watching others live their lives. No prizes for spectators. Life is not a spectator sport, so I say to myself, right now.
    If life is a gift,I need to be appreciative.
    But what about the severely disabled? Or those stuck in terrible situations in war-torn countries. If life is a gift for them, then surely they want to return the present. “give me a life in a first world country instead please.”

    #88844
    Seaisland
    Participant

    I see my life as a gift, I see my health as a gift. Some of my family and all of my friends are gifts. Sometimes strangers are gifts.

    there were times I did not think life was worth living and the only thing that kept me going was knowing if I gave up my life-others such as nieces other relatives and friends might take the “easy’ way out because I couldn’t get a toe hold and regain my will to live. Their lives were worth living but I stayed alive just so they “knew that” I know this is crazy talk but this was my reality

    About 15 years ago I was having panic attacks so bad-my doctor had told me to leave my house every day or I would become so reclusive I would be stuck there. I was living in a city and I would walk from my house and could only walk as far down each road that I could still see my house. Forget driving–just walking 6 houses down from mine was totally overwhelming. One day I passed a very old woman who was walking with a walker—she had on a leather helmet so if she fell it wouldn’t crack her head so bad. She was tiny and frail. She was looking at flowers, then stop and look up a tree.

    it was a defining moment in my life–I cannot explain what happen. I cannot tell you that I never feel down or have panic attacks. I can tell you-that in my mind she was an angel and gave me hope. Not because I felt sorry for her–she was living every moment of her life—I wasn’t. She wasn’t looking back to make sure her house was still there and she damn sure couldn’t run home like I could. I kept walking thinking about her and realized I hadn’t looked back to make sure my house was in sight.

    I don’t know if this will make any sense–but I did need to think about it—so thanks for the nudge, Jack.

    #88849
    jock
    Participant

    seaisland
    re meeting people like that old frail lady in your story:
    I once travelled to Nepal and did some hiking. It was an organised trek so Sherpas were actually carrying all the tourists’ belongings on their packs. We tourists just carried our cameras up the mountains. I was sweating and struggling and feeling sorry for myself but these guys found time to smile and joke, no self-pity whatsoever. That was a wake-up call for me too.

    #88862
    anita
    Participant

    seaisland: a good story, how you realized that your fear on that walk was an option, not tied to reality. Meaning the danger was not there, only the fear.

    Dear Jack:

    I don’t see my life as a gift because if it was so, that means there is (yes…) a god doing the gift giving. If I believed so, and for the moment that I consider it, the same gift giver so often takes back his gifts, early! He gives the gift and he takes it away.
    anita

    #88872
    Anne
    Participant

    Hi Jack

    Yes, I see my life as a gift. The very act of breathing is a gift.

    As for the severely disabled – my experience has been, as with most things, it depends on the person. Some see the joy in the smallest of things, others don’t.

    #88873
    Seaisland
    Participant

    thanks Jack
    I guess you and I both were humbled by our walks. I want to learn more about walking meditation. Regardless moving puts me more in touch with getting into a good place than being still. Ever sense I saw the old lady I have been a walker. She was a gift. It was a gift for you to remind me of that low point and how far I have come. I still get down, but I have learned to use many tools to come back quicker.

    Thanks Anita
    I see people who help me as a gift–the encouraging word, the laugh, the example by doing. I see you take so much time to answer some very troubled people–who then turn around and complain to you about the same problem again, when you have already given them advise–that is so emotionally draining when my friends used to do it to me. I don’t know how you do it. A quality I just don’t have. Your patience/wisdom is a gift to them. I think you are a gift. I read Tiny Buddha awhile before I joined and I had an opinion about you in particularly before I joined. You did something with so much grace and courage it was instrumental of me joining. I want strengths I see in others to rub off on me.

    #88879
    lil.lily
    Participant

    Hello Jack

    I see my life as a gift. And we are destined to do, to be, to feel…this phenomenon. But there is the destiny, that wheel of fortune that directs the individual to fortune or misfortune.

    I think a lot about the people who suffer… yes, the disabled, the refuge, and starving children..the poor animals..climage change.

    And I ask myself? How did I get so lucky? I am a very free-spirited, open-minded, creative, and spiritual.

    I see life as beautiful, as a gift. And…when I think of suffering… I think of my destiny. I am 23 years old, and I am applying for a Master’s degree in Public Health, and hopefully I can help people somehow. Some people say.. I am a child of God. and that as a believer I am saved…yet I think of other meanings and experience in life.

    About the euthanasia? I also believe that people can choose to die, if they are suffering.. it doesn’t mean we cannot help them. It is their indiviudal liberty to have that freedom. I am pro-choice and advocate for life. But I believe that it is the person’s choice to choose his/her own destiny with life or death.

    There are so many people living in this world…can our world support everyone? It is scary to think…should we let people die? Some people choose abortion because they cannot support their child, or they cannot simply let a person live in this world…or those people who suffer could never bare anymore.

    I sometimes think…where do people go when they die? Where does there souls go? I think… maybe… they are locked up in the dark because they chose death… and sometimes I think…maybe they are at peace..and sometimes I think of heaven and hell…or a garden..or reincarnation.

    Those are my deep thoughts.

    Life is beautiful though and it is a gift

    #88894
    jock
    Participant

    re euthanasia
    a Christian might say we have an obligation to see life to the end, even if the end is physically and mentally unbearable. The question will be , how bad does it have to be before we choose euthanasia?
    I’m no fan of pain endurance. No prizes for how tough you are. I’m hoping I have that option, but of course I’m aware of not abusing such a prililege.

    #88898
    anita
    Participant

    * Dear Seaisland:

    I am so very touched by your comment to me. Thank you so much for caring to post this comment for me. I suppose this is a gift that you gave me! Much appreciated. I will print your comment to me later. It is a keeper! I will read it more later, tomorrow so to absorb it. Thank you again!!!

    Dear Jack:

    Regarding euthanasia: I am for legal euthanasia but I have to choose my own. I am against someone else deciding I need to be euthanized. The latter will piss me off, annoy me and greatly irk me. I agree, you don’t get points for enduring pain. It is scary, and I thought about it today before reading this post. The thought of unbearable pain.
    anita

    #88915
    jock
    Participant

    I see myself as God’s gift to the world ! 🙂

    #88919
    anita
    Participant

    This is one statement, Jack, the one right above mine, Jack being God’s gift to the world, that I will NOT argue with-

    even though it has the word god in it and with a capital G. !
    anita

    #89471
    vizual
    Participant

    A gift implies that something is given to me by someone else. Since I am the universe and the universe is me, calling my life a gift is undervaluing my own place. As if there is something else than me or bigger than me that’s giving me a position of privilege.

    I do love this experience of life though. But using words like gifts, love, appreciation, gratitude are just semantics anyway when trying to describe your experience of life.

    #89477
    jock
    Participant

    As if there is something else than me or bigger than me

    The danger being that if we don’t believe there is something bigger than ourselves, we come to see our own ego as God.
    Humility and gratitude are key ingredients for happiness and contentment, in my opinion.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by jock.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by jock.
    #89675
    anita
    Participant

    Where are you Jack? Haven’t seen you around lately. I miss you!

    I can’t write poems like you do so I am going to adapt a poem (sorry about it being quite bloody if you take it literally:

    Bring us Jack back; and, when he is back,

    Take him and cut him out in little stars,

    And he will make the face of heaven so fine

    That all the world will be in love with night.

    anita

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