Friday, July 31, 2009

Post from the Archives: How does a Microwave Work?

When I put a cup of water for my tea in the microwave, I press a few buttons to set the time, hit start and before I know it… hot water. I cannot think of a time when I stood waiting and pondered just how the energy waves interacted with the water to create heat. I just accept that the microwave works.

We rarely look at life like this way. We look for reasons behind the most trivial things. Why did they say that? What did they mean by that? Why is the world such a painful place? We dissect and ponder, looking for hidden meanings of things or in the words and actions of others.

On the emotional level, the human mind has trouble accepting things as the way they are. We want life to conform to our needs. We want others to change, making them more acceptable to the way we think they should be. We may spend years waiting, as a song says, for the world to change, believing that it is just a matter of time.

The answer does not lie in knowing why the world is as it is. Peace comes from accepting that there are things we cannot change. This knowledge leads us directly to the present moment, the only time we have full control over who we are. In this moment we can decide how to look at things, how to react, and whether we are compassionate to ourselves and others.

We are only here for a short ride. Accept the things you cannot change. Make the most of the present moment as this is where your life is right now. You will never have a better past. The future is yet unwritten. You can choose whether to fret over what made the water hot or you can just enjoy your tea.

4 comments:

Julie P said...

I think we do fret over the small stuff and this definitely does spoil the bigger picture and invades our enjoyment of life. The trick is, as you say, is to try and forget about the small stuff and get on with life.

Julie xx

YogaforCynics said...

This reminds me of a discussion I've been taking part in on another blog, about freewill vs. the notion that things are predetermined by laws of physics. I'm inclined to think that it's only a problem if you hold the view of the ancient Greeks, that an oracle can tell you you're going to kill your father and marry your mother, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. If I don't believe in oracles, which I don't, then for all intents and purposes, I have free will, and the question of whether that free will is "real" as opposed to simply a function of my ignorance of the inevitable is essentially academic. So...what on earth does this have to do with your post? Simply that I don't know how the microwave works, either, or how the universe works. I might wonder why, and might even research the matter, but what matters is the attitude with which I do so. Do I look into these questions out of simply a playful sense of curiosity or wonder, or do I really think it matters whether I know or not and get upset if I don't?

The Buddhist Conservative said...

@ Julie

So much of our happiness depends on our not worrying about the little things. We should take some things for granted.

Thanks for the wonderful comment.

The Buddhist Conservative said...

@ Gary

Your comment fits the idea of the post great. We have the free will to decide what things we place importance in our lives. A healthy curiosity about things is good but when we obsess over little things that balance shifts to the unhealthy.

Thanks as always for the thoughtful comment.