The art of living生活的艺术
The art of living is to know when to hold fast and when to let go.
For life is a paradox: it enjoins us to cling to its many gifts even while it ordains their eventual relinquishment.
The rabbis of old put it this way: "A man comes into this world with his fist clenched, but when he dies, his hand is open."
Surely we ought to hold fast to life, for it is wondrous, and full of a beauty that breaks through every pore of God's own earth.
We know that this is so, but all too often we recognize this truth only in our backward glance when we remember what was and then suddenly realize that it is no more.
We remember a beauty that faded, a love that waned. But we remember with far greater pain that we did not see that beauty when it flowered, that we failed to respond with love when it was tendered.
A recent experience re-taught me this truth. I was hospitalized following a severe heart attack that had been in intensive care for several days. It was not a pleasant place.
One morning, I had to have some additional tests. The required machines were located in a building at the opposite end of the hospital, so I had to be wheeled across the courtyard on a gurney.
As we emerged from our unit, the sunlight hit me. That's all there was to my experience. Just the light of the sun, and yet how beautiful it was - how warming, how sparkling, how brilliant!
I looken to see whether anyone else relished the sun's golden glow, but everyone was hurrying to and fro, most with eyes fixed on the ground. Then I remembered how often I, too, had been indifferent to the grandeur of each day, too preoccupied with petty and sometimes even mean concerns to respond, from that experience is really as commonplace as was the experience itself: life's gifts are precious-but we are too heedless of them.
Here then is the first pile of life's paradoxical demands on us: Never too busy for the wonder and the awe of life. Be reverent before each dawning day. Embrace each hour. Seize each golden minute.
Hold fast to life... but not so fast that you cannot let go. This is the second side of life's coin, the opposite pole of its paradox: we must accept our losses, and learn how to let go.
This is not an easy lesson to learn, especially when we are young and think that world is ours to command, that whatever we desire with the full force of or passionate being can, nay, will, be ours. But then life moves along to confront us with realities, and slowly but surly this truth dawns upon us.
At every stage of life we sustain losses- and grow in the process. We begin our independent lives only when we emerge from the womb and lose its protective shelter. We enter a progression of schools, then we leave our mothers and fathers and our childhood homes. We get married and have children and then have to let them go. We get married and have children and then have to let them go. We face the gradual or not gradual waning of our own strength. And ultimately, as the parable of the open and closed hand suggests, we must confront the inevitability of our own demise, losing ourselves, as it were, all that we were or dreamed to be.
Relish the Moment品味现在
Tucked away in our subconsciousness is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows, we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hills, of city skylines and village halls.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour, we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering — waiting,waiting, waiting for the station.
“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry. “When I’m 18.” “When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes Benz.” “When I put the last kid through college.” “When I have paid off the mortgage.” “When I get a promotion.” “When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!”
Sooner or later, we must realize that there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us.
“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more icecream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunset, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. Then the station will come soon enough.
The unseen power of love无形的爱的力量
I will greet this day with love in my heart.
For this is the greatest secret of success in all ventures. Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men. I will make love my greatest weapon and none can defend against its force.
And how will I do this? Henceforth I will look on all things with love and I will be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.
And how will I speak? I will laud mine enemies and they will become friends; I will encourage my friends and they will become brothers. Always will I dig for reasons to applaud; never will I scratch for excuses to gossip. When I am tempted to criticize I will bite on my tongue; when I am moved to praise I will shout from the roofs.
Is it not so that birds, the wind, the sea and all nature speaks with the music of praise for their creator? Cannot I speak with the same music to his children? Henceforth will I remember this secret and it will change my life.
And how will I act? I will love all manner of men for each has qualities to be admired even though they are hidden. With love I will tear down the wall of suspicion and hate which they have built round their hearts and in its place will I build bridges so that my love may enter their souls.
I will love the ambitious for they can inspire me! I will love the failures for they can teach me. I will love the kings for they are but human; I will love the meek for they are divine. I will love the rich for they are yet lonely.
I will love the poor for they are so many. I will love the young for the faith they hold; I will love the old for the wisdom they share. I will love the beautiful for their eyes of sadness; I will love the ugly for their souls of peace.
But how will I react to the actions of others? With love. For just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate and the spears of anger. Adversity and discouragement will beat against my new shield and become as the softest of rains.
And how will I confront each whom I meet? In only way. Silence to myself I will address him and say “I love you”. Though spoken in silence these words shine in my eyes, unwrinkled my brow, bring a smile to my lips, and echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened.