The mission of the living

Image: Harsh Jadav

If you’re reading this, you’re breathing.

Wow… Big opener, huh? Shocker, I know.

But really, this is the single most overlooked and undervalued event in all of humanity.

We take it for granted because we’ve always done it. As soon as we came on the scene, air has filled our lungs (for those of us who may have had difficulty in this area and who rely on artificial means to breathe, you can excuse yourself from this because I know you definitely don’t take the human breath for granted like the rest of us do).

Like most things as commonplace as breathing, we gloss right over the top of it. But when we realize there’s way more going on beneath the surface, we pave the way to incredible transformation.

So, let’s go deeper into this, shall we?

In most languages, the ancient word for Spirit seems to always be similar to that of Breath. You didn’t have to do anything for that first breath, right? You didn’t have to work for it. Whoever delivered you slapped you on the ass and you either had it, or not.

You and me, we had it. We were given this sacred gift of life. From who or what, we may never know. But we didn’t do it ourselves. We just received it.

Often times, it takes something really drastic for this concept to sink in. Either something really amazing or incredibly horrible has to happen before we see that this thing called Life is such a divine gift. But when we take notice of this — really take notice of it — it’s hard to help but feel a sense of… responsibility.

Do you feel it? You might.

When we come to value our aliveness, our mission becomes to preserve and cherish it in others.

I’m talking about a sense of solidarity that we must preserve this thing called life in others. When we find unity with others on this level, we feel what life is all about.

Spirituality is now something that lives beyond the boundaries of our bodies. When we venture beyond ourselves into the betterment and preservation of life for all living things, we feel vigor. Like something divine is calling us past our primal survival-based individuality into the unity of all. We see this, not as giving up anything, but gaining everything.

Life is a gift. We’re still breathing, as is everyone around us. May we not only extend the quantity of those breaths, but the quality of them. And if we ever run into each other, let’s high-five it out for making it as far as we have. One breath at a time.


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Jonas writes short stories and preachments about spiritual, whimsical, creative matters on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing here.