This is a photo of my client's fish.I write often about nutrition and fitness, but working with people on their wellness and health inevitably leads to conversations about life. Bear with me, I have a point.
This client has been training for three years. He's 89. I'm not only writing about him today, but about a conversation we had in our session this morning. But you should know a few things about him - that he lives independently and pain-free, he golfs, and he recently donated a huge chunk of cash to the mental health division of a local hospital. He did this to contribute toward the easing of people's suffering, to have done something that really meant something. Clearly, my admiration for this client/dear friend is through the roof on an average day.
Today, we discussed life and death. Significance. Questions we shot back and forth: Isn't it crazy that someone is here one day and gone the next? Isn't it crazy how soon they can be forgotten? Isn't it crazy how we all fuss around trying to create meaning, the best life, when it all ends and goes away anyway? When, from the perspective of space and time, we are insignificant? The earth is a dot in the universe and we are insignificant beings / parts of that realm. However, we carry such significance to each other, to ourselves. Day by day. It's confusing, of course, to be such a small piece of such a massive thing, and yet this smallness is the biggest thing we know, in the biggest way.
We all carry either our own beliefs about why we're here, or otherwise don't wonder at all and feel just fine with that. I have always been fairly comfortable with not knowing exactly why we live and die and everything carries on, and have had peace with it. The way of nature. And of course, I try to spend my life improving people's quality of life while here. I think it's the most anyone can do - love hard, love often, be loved. Try to ease suffering even if it's small amounts of anguish, distraction, self-deprecation or otherwise.
What is the significance of the fish? Fish, as we know, especially Japanese Fighter Fish, have short life spans. To many, they're insignificant. They live and die quickly, don't leave much of a mark necessarily. He might kill me for saying this, but its purpose begs exposure. This man moves this fish around to have different environments, acknowledges it and bonds with it. Frankly, I do the same with my plants! And my point is, we don't know why any of us are here perhaps. But we alter each other's experiences by taking care of each other, regardless of lifespan or purpose... We try to improve the reality of the living things around us.
We all go through waves in life of arming and disarming ourselves. We are consistently up and down, and must be. We remind ourselves, and repeatedly have to, what matters most and what is trivial. Well today - damn. I had a great reminder about significance. Thank you, dear friend Fred, for your contribution of it in my life.
We all have the same job, at the end of the day. I love my job.