Friday, December 4, 2009


DHS 23/100

Day 3 Behold Your Life: Honor the moment of your conception. Honor your parents for giving you the gift of life.

When i think back to the time of conception, my brain freezes on one simple question: How could i have failed at life so badly given the unlimited potential i started with? That's not part of today's reflection so i'll stop there, but it's taking a lot of effort to skip the issue and go back to the beginning.

It's was a miraculous moment. I always find it amazing to contemplate that instant when conception happened; i do often. It comes from that simple question, Who am i? What am i? My life started right then. Before that instant, Lao Bendan wasn't. From that instant, Lao Bendan is. What other definition of 'miraculous' do you need?

At that wonderful moment of conception, that instant when the spark of life triggers this new being called you, there are no limits on who or what you can be. At that instant you are 100% pure potential. (The same at the moment of death, but that's another story for later.)

However, after that first instant it is a downhill ride. From that one moment, conditions, circumstances, and society conspire to limit your life, your thoughts, your hopes, your dreams, who you are, and who you can be, even before you are actually born. But, for that one instant, there are no limits. None.

I was lucky; conceived by parents of a middle-class, white, educated, suburban family in the US. That gave me countless unearned priveleges that billions of people around the world will never get. That meant i didn't have to face hardships and challenges that billions of people next door and around the world have to face day in and day out. Why was i so lucky? That's part of the miracle.

Does that make my life more valuable than one born in exactly opposite circumstances? Absolutely not — a life is a life. But for reasons that can't be known i was born when and where i was and i am eternally grateful to my parents for giving me this gift of life, and for fostering it so carefully until i was capable of screwing it up on my own.

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