Would you say that your thoughts, words and deeds are more often momentary or momentous? Are they fleeting and brief or sustainable and significant? How large is your perspective on life? Is it narrowly focused in relation to the circumstances right before your eyes or is it more expansive, with an eye for the “big picture?”
The pages of history are filled with the thoughts, words and deeds of those who lived momentous lives, who had vision and perspective and who dared to live rather than simply survive. The majority of cemeteries, however, are filled with the remains of lives lived in mediocrity, according to the status quo. While there are likely many differences between the two, one particular distinction can be found in the scope and the quality of thought brought to bear in relation to the details of living.
It is easy to become a lazy thinker. It happens in many ways, some more subtle than others, but on particular type of complacency can be found in the unwillingness or lack of interest in understanding the larger context in which the issue at hand is framed.
No issue you will ever face in life exists in a vacuum. If you look closely enough (and step back far enough to gain perspective on the matter) you will see that the issues you meet from day to day are the effect of one or more causes that are the most recent links in a long chain of causality. Failing to consider cause is a sign of lazy thinking.
Looking at the issues you face only in relation to how they affect you personally also gives evidence of lazy, momentary thinking. Many people vote for political leaders on this basis, for instance, never giving thought to might be best for the Republic, to which they have pledged allegiance. Such short-term, selfish thinking frequently backfires, for shallow-minded self-centeredness eventually implodes.
Remember that your life is contained in a grand context, a rich and dynamic history that was built on the shoulders of your forefathers. Should you choose to live a momentous life, the decisions you make would rightly include a thought for the future, out of respect for the generations to come. To fail to do so is the hallmark of momentary thinking and lukewarm living.
You have the opportunity to live a momentous life. You needn’t try to produce significance, for it is already present within you. You must simply be brave enough to express it in relation to the issues at hand. You can get through life without much rigorous thinking, but in so doing there is little to separate you from the monkeys, I’m afraid, and your life is likely to end up having little impact on the shaping of the days to come.
Everyone was born with significance, with the potential to make a significant difference in the world we share and steward as a race. The question is: will you dare to reveal it?