I commute to work everyday and to get to the subway station, I have walk down a flight of stairs. Not a very long stretch, this is one which eventually leads me to the escalator to get to the basement.
For the past many years, I have walked up and down this flight of stairs to get to the station and from the station to go home almost everyday. This morning, my father decided to take the train with me to get to the hospital for his treatment. After we got down to the base of the stairways, he asked me, “Do you know how many steps are there on this flight of stairs you walked every day for the past many years?”
I told my father I didn’t know.
“For years you have been going up and down this flight of steps and you have no idea?” he inquired. I mean, who would go around counting a flight of steps albeit using it for many years. So I told him I was either on a rush or when getting back from work, too tired to do small little irrelevant things like counting steps.
My dad said there were 68 steps. Then he smiled.
In life, we always think there are many things not worthy of our attention, or needing us to know, like counting the number of steps. But in reality, it is actually not about worth or need. It is about awareness. Day in and day out, we are too involved with what we deem is necessary and valuable to our living. Day in and day out, we are too conscious about classifying and prioritizing and we leave room for things to fall under the category of not being needful. Then we put them aside, and eventually took no notice or forgot about them.
On every acting stage, it is the props that gave the setting a sense of reality. And the setting gives the plot life.
In our lives, it is these little things not worthy of our awareness that construct our world. And this world gives us reason for being.
We do not go around counting every step or tree or rock or stone. We just need to know that they exist and they have reasons for us to know them a little better, despite our hurried lives and prioritization. Once in a while, grant them an attention to know them better and in doing so, understand the small unnoticeable role they play in our lives which makes our being more florid, and many a times, more meaningful.
Have you taken a good look at the pot of withering plant out in your yard? Find time to do so and give it a reason to exist. Then it will once again, with no doubt, put its colour back into your life.