I was lucky enough to attend the Jack Johnson concert in Wisconsin on Sunday. It was a perfect day; warm, bug-less, and clear skies.
We had shuffled through the madness of traffic, which had more than doubled our travel time, and sifted through the crowds to get close to the stage with a good view of the smooth musicians: Money Mark, Mason Jennings, and Jack Johnson. It was an interesting setting and the crowd was an interesting blend of alcohol, smoke, some various drug use, as well as families, and the sober.
The two opening bands finished and the beers were kicking in. The music was moving through the soul and heads were bobbing. Jack Johnson came on stage and the roar of the audience rose across the field.
There had to have been several thousands of fans who were tightly packed in front of the stage; soaking in the sweet melody of his acoustic guitar.
I loved the music. It fit the scenery; it fit the moment. The sun felt like a warm blanket on my back, and as the stars came out with the darkness shadowing the faces and brightening the lights on stage, it hit me.
To my left there was a man who was obviously in an alternate reality, the air was now full of cigarette and marijuana, further down the row to my right there were 2 guys on acid and surrounding me there were people whose several drinks had finally caught up to them.
I started looking around me as the lyrics: ‘i love Jesus and Buddha too… how can there be one way to get to you- we are all apart of God…’ was met with loud cheering from the crowd and everyone echoed an ‘alright’ in agreement.
I was struck by the emptiness of those lyrics and the emptiness I was seeing in the actions of those around me.
There has to be more than life than escaping it.
I looked up at the stars; the vastness of the sky and the universe overwhelmed me- it all seemed so surreal that life like this’ in its infinite complexity, could exist. I started to feel the reality of how brief life was and how little life was truly being lived. I was filled with sadness.
I wondered what point there was in living life when it is so brief and in the grand scheme of the universe and beyond- life of any human seems unimportant.
I did not stay in this state of despair however.
It has helped me gain perspective. Although the reality of life, all the sorrow, pain, and evil exists- I have come to the cliche conclusion that it is worth living the life I have been given to the best of my abilities- to make the most of the little time I have. This in my conclusion, is that this is done through loving and serving others; by offering the gifts and skills you have, to help others.
I want to LIVE life.
My question is:
How can one inspire others to choose life instead of simply filling empty space? And how do you go about actually living when the world gives a definition of living that seems to lead to the opposite?
What are your thoughts?
(CLARIFICATION: Now, I do not want to be misunderstood: I do not hate anyone who is involved in these areas. I am not trying to judge them. I am simply coming (once again) to the realization through observation, that this is not worth while and that there is so much more to life- and because I wish the best for others I wonder how I may share LIFE with them.)