A river is steady and, yet, constantly changing. On the surface, its appearance may remain unchanged year after year, with the standard seasonal fluctuations of course. But when you dive below the surface you’ll find turmoil, movement, and energy, and you’ll realize the erosive force that a river can be. Every river follows one important rule of nature. To survive, you must adapt. You must be like the river.
In some ways, you can think of yourself as a single, tiny rock in the river. Your journey through life is synonymous with the rock’s journey down the river’s path. At times, you will remain still and stagnate. You are the rock that has settled in a calm, deep pool in the river. There’s not always a quick and easy way out. Your path will require much patience and a good deal of perseverance. Good things come to those who wait. However, you must also earn everything that comes to you.
When you finally make your way out of the river’s deep pool, out of your stagnate state, you must quickly learn to bounce, roll, adapt, and maneuver through life’s challenges, through the fast-flowing segments of the river. You’ll learn there’s only so much control you can exert on your surroundings. You’ll learn that you have limitations and imperfections. But you should never forget that your potential is limitless. Not in terms of how much you can achieve, or how much material wealth you can accumulate. When it comes to accruing those things, life’s dangerous but empty temptations, there will forever and always be a limit to how much you can amass. But when it comes to happiness, health, and compassion, there is no limit. There is no limit to the amount of help you can lend to people around you. There is no limit to the amount of positive influence you can have on someone’s life. There is no limit to the amount of respect you can show to your fellow man. There is no limit to how much you can love.
The river is full of love. Its waters are infused with it. Its rocks know the caressing touch of the rivers’ waters, and they know the love and abundance the river provides. Its fish are moved by the river’s love. Humans are enamored by the river’s power. That’s the power of love.
But it goes much deeper than one human’s connection to another human, one rock’s attachment to another rock. It’s about the connection of the whole system. Millions of spontaneous organisms independently acting in ways that maintain the balance of the entire system. It is a delicate balance, but it’s also an ever-changing balance.
The river doesn’t need our help to maintain its’ balance. That’s what it’s trained to do. It’s what it’s been doing for thousands of years. Millions of tiny rocks uniting in a decision to act against the best interest of the river are sure to have a disastrous effect on the river’s balance. These rocks would be abusing their perceived power, often in a manner the rocks will never truly understand. These rocks misunderstand their place in the natural world. They misunderstand what is truly important in their journey down the river. They may act as a group, but their underlying intentions are often individually motivated. They miss out on the abundance of love and happiness the river has to offer. They don’t take time to slow down, relax, and go with the flow. They spend their lives creating dams and building walls. And to what end?
Let the river flow and accept the gifts it bestows upon you with humility and thanks. Go back to the river often and listen to its’ song. Revel in the river’s abundance. Realize its importance. For without the river, we would not have life.