The Beginnings

I have always been a seeker of truth. Never was what everyone else did an excuse enough for me to do the same. I always wanted to know why I should do the same – what will it do for me, why should I get involved? I’ve always been in this way a strong-headed person. I know who I am and have always had the privilege to be happy with my lot. I’ve read in many places that this is the definition of happiness and I believe that I am the living proof of that. In kindergarten in Russia my parents where asked why it is that I smile so much. I don’t know what their answer was. Mine would have been that I am happy with everything in my life – I see its beauty in everything and everyone around me. I have always noticed things that others walked straight past. I have spent hours in contemplation about the world around me and have always been thankful for that which I have.

So I have lived in daily appreciation of all things around me – the leaf flying through the air, the shadow cast by something small, the movement of a large colony of ants, the butterfly that just flew past, that persons smile, that woman’s laugh, that perfectly round rock. All of life has been so magical from the most obvious moments to the daily intricacies. I have been lucky enough to be born with an ‘appreciation quality’. In fact, this is where my belief in Hashem, something greater than ourselves, has always stemmed from. Although I would have never dared to give it the name Hashem until very recently, I know that I would never be where I am now if I had not stopped to notice the amazing, magical, bewildering world that surrounds us. From the beautiful car, to the Olympic champion, to the fastest animal on earth, and to the hurricanes that destroy so suddenly, in my mind it is impossible that this is a matter of chance.

Nothing is by chance. When I was so highly disappointed that I was not accepted into my one and only preferred advertising course at university I could not see how this could be just. Yet, only one year on, having started a seemingly pointless Arts degree, I received the necessary marks to transfer to a double degree, and realised once again that everything happens for a reason. Indeed, I cherish the exploration that I was forced to delve into during my studies – my Arts degree forced me to look into my belief structures, to challenge what it means to be me, to discover what society is and who I really am. The philosophical and analytical life struck me as something so profound and enjoyable. As Plato discussed, ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. This short phrase although astounds and disturbs many, speaks very deeply to me. The beauty of life cannot be seen without understanding what beauty is and how to see it. Similarly, reality is fickle when it is not based in a deeper meaning. In this way my search for deeper meaning began.

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