Knowing that I like to read people often pass books on to me, sometimes a box full – in one such box was a copy of Siddhartha, a novel by Hermann Hesse.
The story ends with an aged Siddhartha sitting by a river finding the meaning and solace he had sought during his life as he watches it flowing by.
Of all that was contained in the book this final scene is the one that has stayed with me – not that I’m searching for meaning in my life, I have that, but I understand the contemplative nature of sitting by a river, the peace and insights that accompany doing so.
Rivers flow much the same as life, and like a river we can either be swept away by it’s current or become part of the flow – I think this being swept away often occurs in the world as it has come to be.
Issues arise and decisions are made we as individuals have no control over and so we are swept along – some struggle and become overwhelmed drifting into stagnant pools of indifference or even alcohol and substance abuse thinking not of such things as solutions but an escape only to find they create a personal environment more difficult to escape – and sadly at times an environment that leads to a plague visited upon others like fetal alcohol syndrome, drug addicted newborns, or the physical abuse of women and children.
We all need to find a river whether in nature or within ourselves and understand that while we may not be responsible for all that occurs we are responsible for the manner in which we live and conduct ourselves in the day to day.