Today's lesson was about living with grace an dignity; two values that are often over-looked in today's rushed society. In these modern times, everything is fast, faster, fastest. We've come to to no longer see value in slow and steady.
"Irwin," the wise one began, "the frog who hurries cannot hop with digity. I've noticed, my little one that, lately, you're rushing about and trying to do too much. Are you enjoying yourself? Are you taking the time to expirience all that's going on around you?"
Of course, the answer was a resounding "No." It's true, I have been busier than usual and I am not enjoying all this rushing about. But life is life, and I have things I must do...just as we all must attend to our daily lives. "Well," he continued, "I understand that you're a busy young frog, but that shouldn't stop you from actually enjoying these activites and savoring the expiriences you gain from them."
Dharma went on to explain that dignity simply means knowing that you are worthy of honor and respect. He told me that dignity must be shown to ourselves, before we can show dignity to others. It is difficult to maintain our dignity all the time, but we must strive to conduct our lives with dignity, as best we can, even in the face of fear.
"Grace," said Dharma, "means a simple elegance or refinement of movement. I don't have to remind you, tadpole, that when we hurry, we often bump into things. Sometimes they're small and we can avoid them. But sometimes those bumps are big; illness, death, dispoointments...all things that come with living life. But when we hop with grace, we slow down enough so that those pitfalls aren't as painful. Sometimes we can avoid them altogether. Sometimes, we cannot. And that is where dignity comes into play. Do you understand, little one?" "I think I get it, Dharma," I replied. "What you're saying is that when we hurry, we cannot live our lives with integrity. When we hop around, willy-nilly, we don't take the time to appreciate the little things in life, the things that make life worthwhile. And when we do "bump" into life's bigger challenges, we don't the time to learn from our hardhips." "That's it exactly, Irwin. Well said," replied the old frog. "Don't be in such a hurry to get where you're going, that you don't enjoy the trip. After all, that's the whole point of life...the journey itself."
Dharma finished his tea and scone. As he prepared to leave, he gave me a smile and said, "Living with grace, dignity, and integrity isn't all there is to life, but they are very important traits and ones that we must work to strengthen. When we learn to conduct ourselves with these traits, life becomes smoother and easier to navigate. Those unexpected bumps that we all encounter, from time to time, don't seem as important. We learn to appreciate what is given to us, even if that "gift" doesn't always meet our own personal expectations."
After I cleaned up from breakfast, I sat and thought a little more about what my dear friend had taught me. I took my to-do list for the day and immediately crossed out a few items. They can wait. Today, i would slow down and do less. Slowing down and doing less isn't easy for most of us. But, in the end, we actually accomplish more this way. Slowing down gives us time to breath and we can enjoy the each of our tasks a little more.