Today’s post will be slightly different from previous ones because I just have to get something out of my system. There is no way I could stay silent about this important topic. I was going to write about mindfulness and how this idea of “living in the present moment ” changed my entire life and my perception of the world in general. But a couple of days ago a tragic event that happened in Northern Italy helped me understood what mindfulness really means. Under these circumstances, I feel the need to share my thoughts about something extremely important: the sense of our own humanity.
We tend to assume that everyone has or should have the same moral compass, level of empathy, and compassion as we have. But it’s NOT true. This particular assumption is wrong, naive and can be dangerous. Sometimes it is difficult to accept this but this it’s inevitable to do that for our mental and physical wellbeing.
Furthermore, Human nature includes a broad spectrum of behaviors, values and beliefs what basically means that we have to accept at the same point that people are VERY different and we cannot and probably shouldn’t do something about it unless somebody is harmful, abusive or violent what of course requires an appropriate response, in some cases it means to report something to the proper authorities in others we can use our common sense.
However, my point here is that we should
I really don’t want to scare anybody BUT I really hope that people will finally understand that the time is NOW, not in the past or in the future. I mean, that we should embrace the perfection and imperfection of every moment of our life by focusing on its authenticity and uniqueness. Without expecting more from life or others.
Moreover, we should definitely and immediately stop leaving important things for later. If you feel the need to do or say something don’t wait, don’t leave it for another day, don’t waste your opportunity if you have one right now, right here. We tend to believe that there’s always going to be another opportunity… But we all know that it may not be true…
A couple of days ago “being mindful” for me was only about basic self-awareness, breathing techniques and dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. Then this immense tragedy happened in Northern Italy. Tuesday morning in Genoa motorway bridge collapsed. According to the news, at least 42 people were killed but the rescuers are still looking for 10-20 people that are missing. It means that the number of victims could increase… If you’ve seen the photos or video of this tragedy it probably made you speechless. I am myself devastated, heartbroken and shocked. I have no words… so many people lost their lives. This immense and senseless tragedy that probably could have been avoided… no words… Out of respect for all the people who lost their lives and their families and friends I won’t go into details or state who could be responsible for this absolute tragedy. I am not an engineer or any kind of expert in this field so my opinion would be based only on my observations which I made when I was passing over this bridge countless times in the past and on what I’ve read about this questionable construction before. But I’m not going to speculate on what caused this incredible tragedy, it’s not my goal. What I wanted to tell you is how the Genoa bridge collapse changed my perception of the idea of living in the present moment.
Life is an authentic experience
To begin with, I wanted to say that I cannot understand why death and dying continue to be a taboo subject. No one speaks about this as if that would change something in this “final part of our existence”. As if not pretending that death could prevent us from dying. Of course, I’m not saying that we should talk about dying every day in every single occasion because it is unnecessary and it would definitely deprive the concept of death of mysticism and sacrum. What I mean is that pretending that death does not exist and we as human beings are some kind of immortal entities in our physical dimension is a maladaptive coping strategy. At least in my personal view. Death is an inevitable part of our existence, the final one. For this particular reason, this subject should not be avoided or seen as a taboo. The knowledge that life will end someday should be an impulse for making your existence meaningful, authentic and worth living. Life should be respected because it is sacred the same as death is. You are probably thinking, what it has to do with mindfulness? Well, mindfulness embraces the idea of living in the present moment creating a life balance and pursuit of happiness Mindfulness equals self-awareness, compassion towards other human beings, empathy and sense of humanity in the world we are all living. Mindfulness means redirecting your focus to a present moment and paying attention to your surroundings. Mindfulness is a superpower.
Just stop for a second and ask yourself a question. Is there anything you can do for others to make their life better, easier more beautiful? Do you see someone who needs your help? Don’t be indifferent to other people tragedies. Don’t turn away when you see someone suffering. Do not pretend not seeing anything. Do not accept evil because if you accept evil you become evil. Yes, it’s that simple. If you are witnessing something bad or tragic and there are many people involved, please do not think only about yourself. I know that in the life-dead situation saving your own life is a natural instinct but if there is other people involved don’t act as you are the only victim. Don’t think only about your safety, help others, don’t ask just do. Just like my best friend always says: be a decent human being, not an a*hole.
Having faith in the humanity matters
I live in the Northern Italy in the Emilia-Romagna region where earthquakes or floods happen quite a lot. Every single time something terrible or tragic take place you can see many people helping each other without a second thought. The same thing with car accidents, small incidents or even kids who got lost in a grocery shop. There are always a lot of people who try to help others. When you see something like this it definitely restores your faith in humanity.
And I myself, always try my best not only to save my butt but to help every other person involved in a tragic event. Not because I am a good person but because I’m trying to be a decent human being. Or in other words, it is a common sense unfortunately not so common in today world. I’m not asking you to put your life in danger but to look around and pay attention to others when something really bad happens. Sometimes saving someone’s life means saying one kind word or take someone by a hand and help them to get out from a difficult situation. Sometimes it’s just one kind look that can change everything. The time is now, don’t wait but act. Develop self-awareness, compassion, and empathy, invest in your personal growth, respect not only yourself but also other human beings. Don’t look away from human tragedy. Don’t be ignorant, cynical and sarcastic in life-death situations. Be a decent human being. Don’t try just be!
And live in the present moment because it’s the only one that it’s real.