Glorify the Precepts

Life can be overwhelming. It might be overwhelming more often than not. We all of different strategies to recharge our batteries and one of the most abundant is to escape for a little while. People might go to a bar, on vacation, to a show, or simply turn on the television. These escapes allow us to separate from the grind of life, take a few deep breaths, and feel good for a little while before we need to face reality again.

In the process of helping us cope with reality, we’ve glorified these temporary positive sensations. We have advertisements everywhere promoting drinking, sex, and partying. We’ve accepted these distractions to a level that we try to live them as our reality. Deep down, we all know that the allusion will eventually crash and that we will need to pick up the pieces, but facing reality now seems too difficult so we spend our energy trying to maintain the artificial reality.

I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t enjoy a break from life every now and then. I do it all the time. I’m just questioning whether we should glorify these artificial realities as the ultimate state. The people who face reality without taking a break are the ones we should be impressed by and look up to. People like the Mother Teresa’s and Gandhi’s of the world who are surrounded by misery, but face it with a smile on their faces. People who don’t need to lie, steal, kill any living being, intoxicate themselves, or have sex to help them get through life are amazing. If we, as a society, could recognize these people and their accomplishments as the desired goal I thing we would all be better off. There’s nothing wrong with failing to meet these standards. We’re all where we are, and should enjoy the life that we live. We just need to stop glorifying actions that take us further and further from actual reality. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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