The One Thing We Always Take For Granted


“You don’t have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.” – Walter M. Miller Jr.

The laymen would say that ‘acceleration’ means, to speed up. I had a professor of mechanics in engineering school who defined it differently. He surmised that acceleration was the POTENTIAL to speed up. That infinitesimal moment right before speeding up. That’s when he said we started to accelerate, not afterwards.

I was in a coffee shop working this past weekend. It was a beautiful day. A gentleman entered the coffee shop. He was laboring and needed the use of a cane to walk. Typically I would empathize and continue working. This time it got me thinking. I have all this POTENTIAL to move and use my body, but how many days do I take advantage of this. I’m not disabled. I’m not plagued with disease. And I’m not lazy. So why do I take my body for granted? Sure, I work out, but most of the time I’m sitting down, working. I have the potential to move, yet I sit still, not accelerating.

We miss something when it’s gone. If we could only train ourselves to honor our gifts when we’re alive. Not just appreciate them, but honor them. Honor them by making the most of what we have. Sounds simple, but how powerful it would be if we were constantly reminded that these gifts can vanish at the drop of a hat. Then we would make more of an effort to go for that bike ride. Hit the gym. Play basketball. Or simply take a walk.

I had a friend with cancer, Brad MacMillan. The day before he passed away, all he wished for was one more healthy day. He wanted to be reminded how it felt to be healthy. This is a reminder to use your body for all it’s worth. One day, like Brad, you might not have the choice, today you do.

“All I ever really want to know is how other people are making it through life—where do they put their body, hour by hour, and how do they cope inside of it.” – Miranda July


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