When I talk about senses, I am not talking about sight, smell, touch, taste, etc. I am talking about something perhaps a little bigger. I am talking about those senses which give meaning to our lives. I am talking about having a sense of who we are in this world that we live in.
Sense of independence When I gave up driving four years ago I worried that I would lose my sense of independence. I have not. What I have learned is that my independence is not dependent on my driving, ability to get my own meals or take care of all my daily needs. My independence is found in my thoughts, feelings, actions and words. Yes, my disability requires me to be more dependent on others than I ever dreamed of. But thankfully, that is not where my sense of independence comes from.
Sense of community We all belong to something that is bigger than ourselves. But belonging is not enough. We must be participants too. Being a participant means that our goals are not driven by just what is good for ourselves. Instead we are driven by what is good for everyone.
Sense of humor “I don’t think that I should use self-deprecating humor. But I think you should.” We must first be able to laugh at ourselves. Then we can laugh with the world around us. Laughter leads to joy and joy is contagious. Be the source and cause of laughter. Life is too short to go without it.
Sense of wonder. Marvel at the world around us. Be impressed by the beauty of life. Find majesty in sunsets and awe in the miracle of life being created. Be inspired by the power of the human spirit. Love the fact that you are alive and savor everything that life has to offer.
Sense of purpose This can best be defined as the quality of having a definite purpose in life. Know why are you here and find the meaning your life has. Make a difference to someone or something and wake up everyday feeling great about the opportunity that each day offers.
We may lose our sense of taste or smell as we get older and that is okay. What we really want is to develop these other senses. After all, it may be the only truly sensible way to approach life.
Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.