Albert Einstein once said, "There are only two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle - the other is as though everything is a miracle." Yet how many of us truly live our lives as if we were experiencing miracles? Many of us fail to see a miracle even when it is unfolding before us. Our senses have become so dulled by everyday living in which the beauty and wonder of life is something we are unaware of that, even when something occurs that would be capable of transforming our lives, we fail to notice it.
And that which we fail to notice is not truly present to us -- it is not part of our reality nor do we perceive it. This is why so many of us lead colorless lives - lives of "quiet desperation," as Henry David Thoreau would say. We see the misery in our lives -- and the unhappiness and tragedy in the world - but what we don't see is the beauty surrounding us and the blessings in our lives.
After awhile, we become so accustomed to living this way that we forget how to live in any other way. Thus, even though we experience many of the same things that other people do - the brilliance of a resplendent sunset, the fragrance of fresh roses, the glorious sounds of beautiful music - we are immune to them.
When Albert Einstein spoke of living one's life as if everything is a miracle, I think he was talking about living with a heightened sense of awareness - an awareness that is capable of seeing and appreciating its surroundings. Even when a person is coping with enormous difficulties in his life, it is still possible to look beyond these things - much as one might look past the weeds in one's garden in order to appreciate the splendor of the flowers.
Perhaps, it seems wiser to be more "realistic" - to be more inclined to focus on the darker and bleaker side of existence. Society even encourages this sort of worldview and often mocks those who stray from it, labeling them "eternal optimists." Yet which person lives more fully - he who can find beauty and joy in the midst of all of life's circumstances, including moments of despair - or he who is rarely capable of finding anything beautiful and does not even fully comprehend what genuine joy is?
Unfortunately, the man who lives his life as if nothing is a miracle not only leads a colorless life but actually makes a virtual prison of his life - a prison without windows or doors. For not only is he numb to the miracles that come about in everyday existence -- he fails to see the greatest miracle of all - life. And surely the failure to grasp that life itself is the most sublime miracle is the greatest tragedy of all.
Henry Miller wrote in his essay, Stand Still Like a Hummingbird, "The greatest miracle is the discovery that all is miraculous."
Was he not right?