Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Transient Lives

Yesterday, after lunch and during yosi break, two of my officemates, a Chinese-Panamanian and a Filipino who loves cars, were talking about the price of gasoline and cars. Then, the Chinese-Panamanian said that if he is staying here in the Philippines, he would buy this particular model of car (being not interested in cards, I forgot the model).

Early evening last night, I went to Shopwise to do some grocery. While there, I bought the sort of indoor grill and was searching for a pepper mill. On the way home, I thought of how I am buying stuff for my apartment considering that I am only renting there and may move to a new apartment in the future, thus having to move a lot of stuff. Then, how I thought the boyfriend told me that I shouldn't buy this wall fan that I need since I still do not own a house. (My good friend told me that I was nesting). I then thought of whether I would be buying household stuff or not if I were living and working abroad, just like most of my college friends.

I realize that for people, buying household stuff is part of settling down. Only done when we feel that we are no longer transients on a place. And even then, buying stuff is not necessarily a priority even if people own a house. Only when people have families do we buy household stuff. Maybe this is settling down.

How people define transience and permanence is relative. A year or two for some might be considered relatively permanent while for some, several years may still be considered temporary. This reminds me of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's. She has been living in her apartment for quite sometime but she her stuff are still in boxes.

Looking at some religions, many would say that life on earth, no matter how short or long, transient, hence, there is no need to acquire material wealth while living, or to spend on things while alive. Some cultures scrimp while living and splurge on funerals and on tombs. Christianity teaches that whatever we acquire in this world will not matter in the afterlife, and that we should not be stocking on material riches but on spiritual riches, which we will enjoy for eternity after we die. For Buddhism, we live this life, acquire whatever karmas and then reincarnate and live another life based on the karma we acquire.

No matter how transient our life is, I guess all we can do is enjoy life as it comes and life as it lasts. Starting now.

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