THE MEANING OF ACTION FOUND ON VACATION
My husband and I just got back from ten days in Madrid and Barcelona. While we were on the trip I mused that the difference between a European vacation vs. a beach vacation was sort of like the electric stimulation that you get at a physical therapist vs. getting a massage. Both leave you feeling relaxed, but one you go through a bit of action.
While in Barcelona, we (of course) went to Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s most famous work. While I enjoyed looking around the immense cathedral what really struck me were the quotes that were written by various artists and friends of Gaudi in the exhibits.
One of my favorites was by Jaime Ortega Diego who said: “… to understand the meaning of action, it is necessary to understand the relationship action has with everything.”
I loved this quote because I so firmly believe that we are all needed on this earth for a specific purpose and therefore our actions have consequences that reach far beyond our understanding. These artists, including Gaudi himself, knew that the Sagrada Familia would not be finished in his lifetime and that he would not see it completed. I found this so inspirational and humbling. To dedicate your life to something that you would never get to see completed.
As an American I sometimes feel that so much of life is dedicated to what I can accomplish and show others, so that they will be impressed and then I will get some sort of fleeting ego boost from their compliments. The Sagrada Familia was created to serve others even though the final payoff would never be seen by its creator. A beautiful example of the core lesson that we are here to serve and that we all have a purpose, even though that purpose may not be as grand as a cathedral in a European city.
This vacation made me think. I had moments of very clear thought perhaps because I was not setting out to accomplish anything and just allowed myself to be, feel and be stimulated by a fascinating culture and country. I discovered that in order to find meaning in what I do in my daily life, I need to stop and be so that I can see what the consequences of my actions will be on others and whether or not I am fulfilling my purpose for doing the action in the first place.