By Jonathan Cook, Counterpunch
At birth, all of us begin a journey that offers opportunities either to grow – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually – or to stagnate. The journey we undertake lasts a lifetime, but there are dozens of moments each day when we have a choice to make tiny incremental gains in experience, wisdom and compassion or to calcify through inertia, complacency and selfishness.
No one can be engaged and receptive all the time. But it is important to recognise these small opportunities for growth when they present themselves, even if at any particular moment we may decide to avoid grasping them.
When we shut ourselves into the car on the commute to work, do we use it as a moment to be alone with our thoughts or to silence them with the radio or music? When we sit with friends, do we choose to be fully present with them or scroll through the news feed on our phones? When we return from a difficult day at work, do we talk the issues through with family or reach for a glass of wine, or maybe bingewatch something on TV?
Everyone needs downtime, but if every opportunity for reflection becomes downtime then we are stagnating, not growing. We are moving away from life, from being human.
This week liberal Americans reached for that glass of wine and voted Joe Biden. Others did so much more reluctantly, spurred on by the fear of giving his opponent another four years.