Drakensburg mountain range in KZN (South Africa)

The only word that comes to mind when trying to describe the view I recently took in on a mountain pass through the Drakensburg range is what my 5 year old daughter used to describe every awe-inspiring thought, sight or experience she was exposed to. Awesome! What wasn’t so awesome was stepping back and looking at the litter strewn across the ground as a token of appreciation of the beauty that we have around us. Consumerism sucks. And it’s permeating our lives to the point where we’re totally oblivious to the massive imbalance between what we consume versus what we contribute.

This balance is not only important to the environment, it’s ever more critical for our sense of well being. Trouble is, most of us have barely experienced a wholesome life style at all, so it’s almost impossible for us to realise that there’s so much missing to begin with. Stop for a minute. Try to notice something ordinary that’s extraordinary. Stop being so nonchalant about the beauty in the simple things in life so that you can appreciate it while you have the health and presence of mind to do so, rather than wait until you’re too old and feeble to enjoy it and you’re left staring at it from afar because your limbs just can’t carry you there anymore.

Life is being wasted while we’re amusing ourselves with our own ingenuity. What we take for granted today, is almost always a source of intense regret tomorrow. Don’t be part of the crowd on this one. This is one time when standing out is not about your ego, or public image, but about enriching your life in simple yet profound ways.

Quick hit list to be less jaded:

  1. Smell the coffee in the morning, don’t just drink it because you need a boost
  2. Close your eyes and absorb the relief you feel the next time an unexpected breeze brushes past your face, or blows through your hair (If you have no hair to blow through, then you need this more than ever!)
  3. Appreciate the quirks of your partner, and remember what attracted you to them, rather than growing irritable and annoyed at the fact that they don’t always get what you’re saying
  4. Smile at yourself, even laugh if you really did something stupid enough to warrant it. You don’t have to have it together all the time.
  5. Be human
  6. Be unpredictable
  7. Be original
  8. Be true to yourself
  9. Be sincere
  10. Be you, and stop trying to be someone you think others will like

So back to appreciating the beauty around us. If you don’t appreciate it now, there’ll be hardly any left for your kids or your grand kids to appreciate later. Wouldn’t it be sad if all they have to remember the bounties of nature is well constructed computer animations or photos that their grand parents took back in the day?

I’m sure ‘someone’ else will come along to pick up after me, huh?

If you have no inclination to appreciate what beauty abounds in nature, at least do no harm to it so that those that follow will not be left with your tainted view of the world.

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