Have you ever come across a quote and thought it was so good that you couldn’t wait to share it? I came across such a quote – about life – and decided to share it with you here. Following is a little background on how I came to hear it, the actual quote, and what it means to me. I hope you find this simple saying as intriguing as I do. Enjoy!
Our daughter, Gillian, was home this past weekend, and shared a few video interviews of herself and colleagues who make up the 2015-2016 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health‘s MPH cohort. The video interviews are the brainchild and creative effort of Quyên Lê, one her classmates, who thought it would be a great idea to have these videos to look back on, as well as a resource for someone who may be thinking of going into Public Health.
So I watched the video interviews with Gillian and felt that I was being treated to something very special – a view into a world that I would not otherwise have if it weren’t for her forward thinking classmate. Not only was I fortunate to have this opportunity, I learned a few things too. These future Public Health leaders are passionate realists about their chosen profession. They are also extremely smart and funny.
The quote I heard and share here communicates age-old thought about the ever changing nature of life. The statement was made by Ricardo Millàn, MPH cohort co-leader, during his interview and it stood out to me. It was memorable, I think, because Ricardo said it in such a way that I understood for him it was “a given” … something he just knew – didn’t have to think about – and accepted about life. I believe that some of us need reminders from time to time that the only thing constant about life is change, so it resonated with me. So simply and concisely put, Ricardo said:
Life is a flux.
The origin of this statement appears to be Osho in Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet (On Friedrich Nietzsch’s Thus Spake Zarathustra), in which he tells us that:
“Zarathustra was a contemporary of Heraclitus and Gautam Buddha. It is a strange coincidence that all these three great teachers have basically given a single approach to life: life is a flux, everything is constantly changing, and that which does not change is dead. Change is the very spirit of life; permanency is part of death.”
I am struck by the simplicity, yet depth, of this statement. It’s easy enough to adopt as a mantra, a necessary reminder, that life is in a constant state of change. The depth of this simple declaration rests with the word “flux”; the origin of which lies in the Latin words “fluxus” – flow and “fluere” – to flow. Inherent in flow, whether as an object or action, is change. Literally, in a word, “flux” sums up, and characterizes, the ever changing nature of life and its flow.
In Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet (On Friedrich Nietzsch’s Thus Spake Zarathustra), Osho tells us that:
Zarathustra was a contemporary of Heraclitus and Gautam Buddha. It is a strange coincidence that all these three great teachers have basically given a single approach to life: life is a flux, everything is constantly changing, and that which does not change is dead. Change is the very spirit of life; permanency is part of death.
So . . . concisely put . . . life is a flux. It is never the same from one moment to the next because of its continuous flow, which can itself vary in nature. It can be calm and peaceful, or chaotic and turbulent. However life is, is due to its flow. The question is – Will we go with the flow and be joyful in anticipation of what it will bring, or hunker down and ignore it or try to stop it, and experience the difficulties in doing so? The choice is ours.
And, remember . . . Feed Your Good Dog so your good dog always wins!