At the start of this week, former President S R Nathan passed away at age of 92. In mid-week, two earthquakes hit parts of Italy and Myanmar separately. One devastated residential areas when people were still sleeping with many deaths. The one in Myanmar damaged many pagodas and temples of Bagan. These were built in the 10th and 14th centuries. I remember visiting these historic buildings during my visit in 2014.
These episodes drive home a point that things cannot remain permanent forever, including human lives. Even mountains will one day disappear when subject to the elements of sun, rain and earthquakes. Human beings are limited in life span. The oldest persons could only live up to120+ years before they leave this earth. We cannot wish otherwise to live in perpetuity.
We cannot also wish that things remained the same. We may look good when we were young but age will leave us looking old and not as agile as before. Just look at your own photographs when you were young and compare them with the ones taken recently. You will know what I am saying.
Do we get upset or sad? If one does not cling to the past and live in the moment, it would be easier to accept impermanence. Impermanence is natural of things in this earthy realm. We cannot change it. Things may appear permanent but it is not so. If we see a river flowing, the river appears permanent because it is always there. If we look deeply, the river changes every moment. The water flowed on; the inhabitants moved on; things got moved along with the flow of the water. Over time things change. This is nature.
The sooner we can accept the concept of impermanence in our lives and things surrounding us, we can be at peace. Staying in the moment and aware of current emotions can help us to cope with daily living.