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Inner Peace and Wonder

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. -Albert Einstein

When I first arrived at the dumpsite outside of Manilla, Phillipines the group guide admonished us not to complain about the smell and stench of this 2,000,000 ton garbage heap, known as Smokey Mountain, the waste disposal area for Manila.  I was a part of a U.S. group who’d come to deliver some dignity, to the 30.000 dumpsite squatters.

being gratefulThe Manilla dumpsite got its name from the continuous decomposing waste and refuse fires. I don’t remember the smoke and fires as much as the encounters I had with the residents.

By the end of the one-day tour I was in tears. No living thing on this earth should be sentenced to live in this hell of undignified existence.

But that wasn’t why I cried. My emotions were sparked by the beauty I saw inside these forgotten outcasts. I saw within them a simple awe and intrigue as we walked among their shanties delivering simple goods. I expected to see a helpless survivor demeanor but instead I saw gratitude and curiosity.

No matter if you’re living in palace royalty or in abject third world poverty, within each one of us resides a sense of wonder, a spirit of intrigue for our surroundings. But we’ll miss the miracles if we don’t really pay attention to the awesomeness that is all around us.

We humans have to work at not falling into complacency. If the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Then the opposite of awe is apathy. Continue Reading →

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