The rain falls;
The grass grows:
Nothing is done.
Nothing is left undone
Sometimes you just do what you got to do, and that never changes from the first time you take out the trash as a kid until the time in life where you are taking care of little chores in your retirement home somewhere–hopefully somewhere warm:) Attending to the small and large chores of life is part and parcel of being human. Sometimes those chores are self-serving; sometimes they serve some community/family you are a part of, and sometimes they are just “things” that you do because no one else seems interested in taking care of that chore; but, in all cases a chore, by its very meaning, implies doing something you might rather no do…but you do it anyways. We all have chores to take care of. How you approach those chores says a lot about your depth of character, and as much as any other quality you have determines your future success in life.
You might be thinking, ‘O, man, I’m in trouble because I hate chores and expend more time and effort avoiding them than it would take in simply doing them,’ but luckily that’s a natural response of adolescence; however, it is a horribly bad habit to continue as a youth–and downright irresponsible as an adult–if only because as an adult “you should know better.” By the time you are an adult you will have seen and experienced the downside of neglecting chores, which is probably why most of us parents can be pretty obnoxious when it comes to making our kids do what they should and need to do. When I was a kid Saturday morning was always our time for chores–and it was time for chores for any friend of mine that happened to come by our house, and for some reason, I remember a lot of friends showing up to help with our chores. Maybe because they liked hearing my father call me lame-brained
whenever I did something less than perfect, or maybe (and I like to think this is true) it was because there was a certain nobility around how the Fitz’s did their chores. Chores were never a point of discussion; chores were more a ritual that kept our little slice of heaven on the corner of Longfellow and Paul Revere Roads a place where everything important to the neighborhood seemed to happen with an uncanny consistency and longevity.
So, perhaps this morning you are putting off your chores, and in a way I am doing the same. When I should be compiling your grades and writing comments to your parents summarizing your efforts this past winter, I am penning my own words–perhaps to make sense of this chore I need to do because, to be honest, I don’t really want to spend the six hours or so it takes to get through my four classes, but it is what needs to be done. In the same way, there are probably a few chores you can attend to today or tomorrow. When Buddha said, “Nothing is done; nothing is left undone,” he wasn’t advising us to do nothing; he was just pointing out that when the rain falls, the grass grows.
Like the rain, today magically appears.
At the end of the day, what will you have done?