For the life of me, I will never understand people who don’t like to read. There is so much wisdom out there. Reading is like accessing the brains of millions of other people. There is more knowledge in this world than one brain could possibly hold. Think of books as thumb drives that enhance the memory of the computer that is you.
For example, a friend of mine reminded me recently of the beginning of one of Rumi’s amazing poems.
Each form you see has its unseen archetype. If the form is transient, its essence is eternal. If you have known beauty in a face or wisdom in a word, let this counsel your heart: what perishes is not real.
“The Body is a Rose” ~ Rumi
Now, I’ve read Rumi before, and been moved by his words, but I can’t keep everything in my head. That’s why reading is so important. I particularly needed to hear this passage on the day my friend shared it with me, as I was going through a stressful situation.
Perspective is something I always struggle with. It’s hard for me to remember that what I might consider to be a crisis is usually a mere blip on the radar in the overall scheme of things. So much that I worry about and agonize over is actually trivial when compared with mortality.
I remember being really aware of that right after my boyfriend passed away. People would be griping over how well a coworker was cleaning the toilet, and I’d be thinking, “But you’re ALIVE!!! Don’t you get it? Who cares about the bloody toilet?”
But with the passage of time, I find myself falling back into my old bad habits of taking things entirely too seriously. So now I try to remember to say “what perishes is not real” as often as possible. Perspective.