July 8

Nothing is Permanent

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Blog | 3 Comments

Being a follower of the Dalai Lama on Twitter, I recently read his quote of the day (QOTD). It read, “Nothing is Permanent.” I am certain the Dalai Lama isn’t the first Eastern Philosophical Master to say this. I’d be willing to bet one of the Buddhas (if not the first Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama) said it many centuries ago. But I think it’s important to reiterate the meaning of this statement.

The statement is simple, yet how often do we humans behave as if everything is permanent? This begins with our life. We act as if we are going to live forever. We put off things we want to accomplish. We behave as if there is always tomorrow to write that novel, spend quality time with the family, or simply enjoy life. I believe this is especially true when it comes to males and their families. I once read in “Life’s Little Instruction Book” (which was written by a father to his son as he left for college) that no one was ever on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at the office. To me this is the perfect evidence of how we pretend life is permanent.

What I interpret the Dalai Lama as saying is embrace your life. Realize “This Too Shall Pass,” whether it’s sadness, happiness, or your existence. Live your life fully, recognize that nothing is permanent, including you. The day I passed this quote on in my status on Facebook, I finished it with a lyric from The Eels: “Goddamn right it’s a beautiful day!” embrace the day, embrace your life.

Share this Post:
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 9:07 AM and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Nothing is Permanent”

  1. Onidia on July 8th, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    Humans see life as permanent because we think we are indispensable for the people we love. If a young mother is diagnosed with cancer, she does not want to die because she sees herself as the only person that can protect her children and guide from their childhood to the adulthood. One good example of this happened to me. Maybe it is something stupid, but when my daughter was born I used to have arguments with my sister in low because she liked to give me opinions about how to take care of my child and I put her in her place and I told her “you are not the mother of the baby if you want it have your own girl because this mine.” Maybe she was trying to help me, but I didn’t see it like that. I saw her like a rival trying to take my place. I am vary possesive mother and when her father takes her to his house on weekends I suffer because in my mind I am the only person who takes good care of her. Of course, she doesn’t know about it because in front of her I pretend the opposite.

  2. Auston on July 16th, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    Nothing is permanent & often, things change or they die.

    But – this permanent “illusion” that you speak of is not really that much of an illusion; you probably won’t die tomorrow, so plan for it. Sandwich from that awesome sub place around the corner is within reach for this week. Finishing that book Freakonomics can be done this month. Vacation with your daughter & her boyfriend will be awesome this December!

    Now, I agree that most people in today’s society have a really crappy perception of time & often waste tons of it; but embracing each day (in my eyes) is a recipe for failure by my standards. I say this because there is no mention of goals – something I value very much. Accomplishing goals does a lot for my self-esteem at the very least.

    So basically, nothing is permanent but it will last for a little while at least, make the best of that little while but don’t be too short sighted.

  3. William Berry on July 16th, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    I agree one has to have goals. In fact, as a result of being an existential therapist and the reading I do in that area, it motivates me to realize the importance of setting, and trying to accomplish, goals that I wish to attain. For instance I recently met with a colleague about a book project. Now with all I have on my plate this is extra responsibility that I would have to prioritize if I want to accomplish it. I could say, “well, I’ll do that when I am not so busy” but I realize as an existentialist that time is limited and I should not put off things I want to accomplish until much later in life.
    I hope this helps clear up the existential view on goals and how it is not contrary to embracing the day.

Leave a Reply