Lessen the Lesson. Please.


When we begin to look around, we notice things. That’s how it works. We pay attention, and then we notice.

It sounds simple enough. But trust me. We humans have a way of checking out. There have been plenty of times in the shower when I find myself wondering how many times I’ve shaved my legs, because I’ve just had a lengthy and “fictional” conversation with some person I disagree with.

Sometimes it isn’t so easy to stay in the moment. But when we do, we notice.

And part of this, I am told by those wiser than I, helps us on our path. We are supposed to be learning. Growing. They say we should see every situation as a lesson. Not in some random way. No. This is all very specific. They say those “circumstances of life” — in particular the ones that challenge us — should be used as a custom-made lesson in our “self-development.”

This, they say, relates to all things. Lessons.

Here are some things I bumped into today.

The first came as quite a surprise. The average person eats 70,000 Microplastics each year. I thought my salt habit was of concern. But this really got my attention. We all eat a lot of microplastic, and it could be having negative health effects.

The scientists have found that every time you sit down to eat, microplastics float in the air and land on your food. Right before our very unsuspecting eyes. They mix right in there with your biscuits and gravy. And, over the course of ANY meal, we are most likely consuming around 100 bits of microplastic. They did the math a little further for us, adding the nine, and carrying the one. That comes out to 70,000 pieces in year.

Our bodies are getting a steady dose of plastic waste. And we can’t do much about it. Floats right in with every forkful.

Back to the Zen message. I am supposed to remember that this is a tailor-made lesson for me. I love a good dose of Zen, but this one doesn’t float right in to my brain yet. I’m paying attention, but I am missing the lesson. Too many plastic particles, I suppose.

Next item on the list.
I found out that the hot new hair color — the biggest new trend for this year — is called “Lavender Gray.” I was paying attention and saw a news report on this. They showed all sorts of women with this Lavender Gray hair. They did not feature any men for this. But it looked just like it sounds. Purple.

Regardless. When I was growing up, I only had one Grandma. The other died when I was very young. My Grandma Regina had — from time to time — purple hair. I don’t know how it happened. One day, it was gray and white. The next, purple-ish. I, as a kid, would notice the same thing at church. My sister Julie and I would be fidgeting around in the pew on Sunday. We would look out across the sea of people. And, invariably, several of the older women in the congregation, would have purple hair. Depending on the weather, sometimes it was beneath their plastic rain bonnets.

I never much cared for the sea of purple heads. And now it is the big new trend.

Once again. I am doing my Zen Duty and taking notice. This news is a lesson for me, or so I am told. It came into my life and now it is a part of my learning process. And again, the tutelage fails to reach me.

Maybe, just maybe, the lesson I’m learning here, is that I am looking at the wrong lesson. Maybe I saw Microplastics and Lavender Hair Dye, when I should have been noticing other headlines. Like the abuse of Immigrants. Or the corruption in our Attorney General’s office.

Or maybe I’m weary of the hard headlines, and I needed to hear that this Easter, you can snorkel with Jesus in the Florida Keys.

The lesson? The world keeps spinning, and we are spinning with it.


“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!


“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars


“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”
― John Lennon