Representing introspection — there is always hidden beauty within each of us, not necessarily requiring the transcendent. Courtesy photo
Editor’s note: This piece is a response to Sherry Hardage’s “Solo Traveler: Religion” column (here).
By KEVIN HENDERSON
A lifetime does not invent itself. It is made by the aggregate of small, everyday choices — choices that each of us wills into existence. Each morning, you awake and you are, for a moment, your only friend, your best friend. You spend your whole life with yourself and you engage the world.
In this life, you teach yourself to maximize your well-being and minimize your needless suffering. It takes very little effort to recognize that morality is established when each of us extends this condition to other-selves: first to friends, family, and fellow humans. This is how a good life is sustained and morality is formed.
Make this life your own, make it worth something for others, and make it count. It is yours to take but you have to make the effort. It takes courage to succeed and even more to accept the possibility of failure. It is not by hope or faith that a lifetime is made, it is by doing.
To paraphrase a great modern day thinker — take the risk of truly thinking of yourself, for yourself, and for others — much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.
Editor’s note: Kevin Henderson lives in Los Alamos and works at the Lab, though his wife is quick to note he is primarily a philosopher and a mandolin player who enjoys swimming with dolphins and aspires to make changes to everyone’s landscaping (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).