By Viv Walden
Oh, the things people say. Like this one – Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. In truth, life is measured in breaths. We have only so many.
I think the ordinary, predictable, humdrum, regular- breathing parts of life are great. Dad coming home, supper at six, gather around the table, bedtime story and now I lay me down to sleep, church on Sunday, Christmas program every year, and long boring summers with dandelions and daisies. That makes for a happy childhood.
So I like ordinary. I think it’s great.
There are people in the world whose ordinary isn’t great at all. It is predictable that they will suffer slavery or disease or death. They can’t count on tomorrow being blessedly humdrum in the way that we can. Hunger and thirst is commonplace. Parents worry their children will die. They are happy when there is a next breath. From our places of plenty it is hard to remember that a third of the world does not have enough to eat, or good access to health care or education.
So maybe we should add a few new things to the proverbial ‘take my breath away’ thrill seeking bucket list. Between ‘See the Eiffel tower’ and ‘Ride an elephant’, we can pencil in ‘Help a homeless person’. Or ‘Help provide a well for a village in Africa.’ Or ‘Sponsor a child.’ There are so many opportunities out there, so many ways to help. Let’s give some of our ‘ordinary’ away. It is the right thing to do and much more fulfilling than a trip to Vegas or a bungee jump in New Zealand.
And perhaps we should change that quote to something like this, ‘Life is measured by the breaths we take. Let’s make them count.