Youth is filled with a special magic and excitement at receiving those gifts your heart and mind have come to believe as being the things to bring you most joy above all others. Parents and relatives are happy to provide you with the trappings that help you tell your social circle, “I belong” or “I have”. This is the point in your life when these things carry more weight in your mind, and in the minds or your peers than anything else. Going without is not an option and the momentary satisfaction of getting what you want is thrilling and even intoxicating to the point of becoming obsession at times.
You soon learn though that it isn’t the physical things of life that bring you the real happiness you seek. The realization that something is missing fills your mind with a feeling and desire you can’t name or really even understand. You just know that inside there’s this growing hole of immense desire to do and experience and call all your own. There’s more and you’ve got to have it. So you call it adventure and run full speed into the beauty and ugliness of life and living in search of fulfillment, meaning and identity. What you find along the way is exciting and frightening and confusing and good and bad. Sometimes, even most times, all at once.
Somewhere in this high speed adventure of yours a transformation begins. Life, that thing you’ve sought and longed for and chased after with such zeal and ambition, is no longer such a mystery. Experience is gained, opinions and biases are created, and like the foundation of a house, you’ve poured out the concrete and it’s begun to set, forming the foundation for the structure that becomes the rest of your life. Things begin to get heavy. No longer are you chasing your life, instead your now pulling or even dragging it along after you. Some claim that life has just passed them by but It isn’t so much life passing you by as you pressing on in search of something beyond and better than what you’ve experienced, accomplished and gathered. You find yourself wondering at times, “is this all? Is this what I’ve been chasing after? for what, for whom and why?”
As you mature and the walls are raised on the foundation of your life, you are faced with the most important choice you will ever have. You can build a thick impenetrable fortress to hide within, fearing what is outside your thick walls, living with your own thoughts and shutting out all else. Or you can build an open, high ceiling inviting dwelling where you gather with others and share what you have, who you are and what you’ve learned. This dwelling, full of picture windows and open doorways invites and welcomes others in, while allowing you to look out onto the rest of the world with enjoyment and reflection. Life literally flows through like a warm, refreshing breeze. Each of those doors and windows you’ve created represents an opportunity for you to continue to live and learn and share. You realize one day, that the gift you’ve sought so long and hard for has been with you all along. It’s been inside you the whole time. Everything you’ve experienced has gone into making this gift absolutely unique. You’ve been given a life to share with others and the opportunity to live it as you wish. No one has lived your life as you have or experienced things in the same way. And that is truly your gift.
The opportunities that life presents us with, to do with it what we will and experience as we desire is the most precious gift we have. It’s also the most important to pass on to others. But experiences must be shared if they are to be of value. By giving of ourselves, Physically, mentally, socially and spiritually, out of love and compassion and a true desire to do what is right and honorable and good, we leave a legacy that goes far beyond any physical manifestation of wealth. Opportunities abound where opportunity is shared. The greatest lesson we can be taught in our youth is the importance of giving with no expectation of a physical gift in return and that sharing, not hording, is a truly admirable virtue. For in freely giving you pass on the opportunity for others to learn the power and importance of giving as well. #michaeldavis