This is water: dealing with the banal day to day


There is a special and magical way to deal with the monotonous ins and outs of our daily adult and tedious lives. It’s about making a choice. Choosing to think consciously, to understand that it is never about us; our egos.

Fight the urge to make it about yourself. You are not anything special or separate or unique. Or you are all of the above, but so am I, and that person next to you, behind you, those people all around you, are too. Even that guy that seemingly cut you off.

It is an easy and automatic way to think: to elevate yourself above others, which often, in the daily and tedious moments of our lives, leads us to be quite miserable. Or quick to anger. Or apathetically bored.

So says David:

It is my natural default setting. It’s the automatic way that I experience the boring, frustrating crowded parts of adult life when I’m operating on the automatic and unconscious belief that I am the centre of the world and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world’s priorities.

When I take a beat to pay attention to the thoughts that are pinging around my brain, in particular on the way to work as I weave through slow walking individuals, I’m appalled. I somehow put myself first as this great speed walking vixen, and that anyone who gets in my way is an idiot. Can’t they see I’m faster than them by my mere presence: my youth; my height (translation: long legs built for long strides and overtaking slow walking individuals)? Don’t they get, that by stepping out of the subway before me, they’ll likely be surpassed by me? How embarrassing it is for them! And on it goes. Pathetic  gremlin speak. Of which, when I give attention to, I shut down immediately. I want to be better. I choose to be better.

Happening upon the This is Water YouTube nugget below, I am reminded of just how great it is to consciously think to live a more compassionate life.

I choose to live compassionately.

Watch the below video, created for David’s commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College:



  1. Henry
    September 17, 2016 / 9:19 PM

    Hey, Jane and I were on our bikes heading towards Hanlan’s point on a recent weekend. If we’d got there and seen you and your date-wouldn’t that have been awkward!!!

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