Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Intentionality and appreciation

After having traveled at home several times over the past few months, it has been reinforced to me that I am very lucky to be where I am, to have what I have. There is a uniqueness about each place and time, in my life and in yours. Observing this uniqueness is just a matter of living intentionally.

Rebecca mentioned in a comment a few weeks ago that while traveling at home is absolutely possible, it takes more "directed attention;" we might need to remind ourselves that we are actually traveling, even though we are at home. What I might suggest then for all of us is a directed attention of sorts. In a world of noise, one-hundred and forty character messages, and constant stimulation, this directed attention will likely require intention...hence living intentionally. What these words and phrases - directed attention and intentionality - may mean is simply appreciation.

I think our culture and society have ingrained in our minds and psyche a decided unappreciation. We are constantly distracted from what surrounds us by what we wish surrounded us. There is a constant urge to be somewhere else, both in time and in space. The very notion of progress hinges itself on a sort of dissatisfaction of here and now. As I mentioned previously, our I think a lack of appreciation is one of the fundamental drivers of our behaviour in the industrialised world. We are made to feel wholly inadequate about almost everything - women aren't "beautiful" enough, our smiles aren't "perfect" enough, our shoes and bicycling parts aren't the "latest." Very little of what we have already, and where we are already is appreciated. If we were to suffuse our every action with appreciation and intention, we would live against the grain of this ecologically degrading culture, and that is a good thing.

If we truly appreciate something, we wouldn't tolerate it being treated unjustly or violently. We would care for what we have and respect it. If we truly appreciate what the trees do for us, we wouldn't just stand by and watch as acres and acres of rainforest are cut down every day, whether for agriculture or for furniture. If we appreciate the air, the water, the land, take a stand, and live intentionally.

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