Our personal space starts to form the moment we are conceived. It is seeded miraculously and microscopically deep inside the womb. It expands as we grow until our mother’s uterus is stretched into a large balloon. There we stay comfortably with all our needs fulfilled, unaware of the world outside.
For richer or poorer, in ancient times or modern days, humans develop the same way for the first nine months of their lives, inside the safe haven of their mother without any fancy garments or glistening trinkets. So, it seems that all lives are, indeed, created equal.
The minute we are born, however, life’s inequality comes into play. As we are swaddled in a baby blanket, our personal space starts to transform, often entwined with the social-economic state into which we are born. For some, it could mean a shared bed with brothers and sisters in a homeless shelter; for others, it could be a gilded nursery in a large palace.
Our personal space reflects who we are and how we do in life, though much of it is inherited, predetermined, and taken for granted. As we grow up, we may come to believe that life is anything but fair as many of us try to understand why we are picked to live that particular life.
Ancient Chinese wisdom tells us that life is a journey, not a destination (生命是旅程，而非目的). If it is a journey, then we shouldn’t fret about what life we’re born into, for it is only the departure point of a trip we have to yet to embark on. We, as travelers, must plan our itinerary, set a goal, and control the outcome of our journey. It matters not where we start but where we finish.
As you begin 2017, don’t forget to reflect on your life. It’s never too late to set a new goal or to correct the course of your life’s unique journey. Be an explorer and adventurer, and chase your dreams. It is through their fulfillment that you’ll derive the meaning of living.
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