She sat next to me on the park bench,
warm morning sun
shining on her face.
She shared about a funeral she attended
where story after story was told
about an old woman who
lived life large
all over the globe
producing concentric circles of influence.
My friend said she wanted a life like that.
I asked, A life like what?
One of significance, she said.
Tears welled up
in both our eyes.
Isn’t that the fear that drives all fears?
The fear that prompted that first bite
so long ago?
The fear that undermines our motives,
and haunts us on our death bed?
That fear that says being human is
where enough looks like significance,
and significance looks like being God?
You know, that glittering god
of perfection and holiness,
that we strive tirelessly to grasp,
as we meticulously check off the shoulds and musts,
buying into the hype,
becoming a commodity
of the neo-liberalist machine called the Good Life,
and thus, the antithesis of human,
or more simply,
whose fear driven endeavors
disintegrate into dust along with our
But what if significance is found in the small,
What if significance
is seen in the baby that never takes a breath
but whose mother’s breath held it
in her womb?
Or in the children who care for loved ones
working long hours for little pay?
Or in the widow who walks alone, eats crumbs,
but gives generously to the overworked children?
And in the man, a bed ridden mute
who exists in space and time,
wondering if there’s more than this place
and these people whom he’s dependent
upon for all things?
What of humans whom the world will never know,
names only spoken in the most minuscule of concentric circles,
mere pebbles dropped in shallow puddles
that eventually dry under the
glaring afternoon sun?
Does our significance not come from
our simple act of breathing,
where each exhale leads to dependance
and each inhale gives Life?
How might our world look
if we stopped
fighting for that perfect inhale
in order to drive the Good Life machine forward,
allowed our bodies
to effortlessly exhale to the point
where nothing is left
but our anticipation of being filled
us into the beautifully significant humans
we were created to be.
 Diana Renner and Steven D’Souza. Not Doing: The Art of Effortless Action. (London, UK: LID Publishing, Ltd, 2018) 108.
 Ibid., 97-98.
 Jer Swigart. 2020. “Inhale and Exhale…Which comes first and Why it Matters.” DMINLGP blog. Accessed September 20, 2020. https://blogs.georgefox.edu/dminlgp/inhale-or-exhale-which-comes-first-why-it-matters/.