One of our exercises for week 3 is to think about ways in which we are rich in resources other than the monetary kind. Although, I am essentially an optimist and see a plethora of abundance around me, for this post, I have decided to focus only on one.
The word diamond brings up many contrasting images in my mind from the famous marketing slogan and OO7 movie “Diamonds are Forever”and Marilyn Monroe singing “Diamonds are a Girls’ Best Friend”, to the bloody and enslaving diamond trade depicted in the movie Blood Diamond.
In reflecting on this activity, I happened upon this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson which perhaps sums up my greatest spare diamond which is invisible to most and took me a long time to see.
Unlike many people who are short on time, face exhausting 9-5 jobs daily with little time for reflection, I am presently voluntarily unemployed. I have spent the past two years with ample time for self exploration, trying new things, connecting with others, taking courses and getting in touch with what is important to me. I have been given the gift of time. When my life circumstances first bestowed it upon me, I was not so willing a recipient.
However, after a long struggle, I am learning to “guard well my spare moments” and invest them with meaningful play, creativity, volunteerism, learning and meditation. Reading Tim Walker’s blog “Taught by Finland, ” has also encouraged me to embrace being a “human-being” not a “human doing.”
Had I not been given this gift of time, I may never have started taking MOOCs and thinking about alternatives to being a teacher. A flip side to the global recession and changing economy as well as the heated discussions surrounding education, is that many people (educators and others) have been forced to demonetize (as much as possible) their lives and take the time to reflect on what it is they really want to do/become.
I read somewhere once, that the value of a diamond rests in its ability to be cut. Much like the cutting of a diamond, what I do with the abundant gift of time that I have been given, rests in how I cut it or shape it into something meaningful. In addition recently I discovered that diamonds do not come from coal, but “diamonds are still material that has been subjected to great heat, pressure and stress, and has turned into something beautiful.” So through this sometimes stressful process of shifting my perspective of self and situation, I have discovered a wonderful resource and luxury that many others may indeed covet. I have an abundance of time!