"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." -Socrates

Saturday, March 5, 2011

First Life Lesson I Learned While Hiking

During a four-mile hike near Hana, Maui, hiking differently than I had in the past, I learned some life lessons. This is what I learned.

Lesson One: Less Is Best

Preparing to ascend the Oheo Gulch to Waimoku Falls, I began loading my backpack with all of the things I typically carry when hiking. Then I stopped to think about what I truly needed, and realized that leaving my backpack and bringing only essentials could be beneficial. I put a snack, camera, and car keys in my pocket, and hand-carried a half-gallon jug of water. It was one of the first times I can remember not hiking with a backpack- and what a difference it made! Starting my climb, I felt light as air! Carrying only what I needed felt like a whole new experience, making the entire hike much more enjoyable.

I believe this concept can also apply to life. If we owned only what we needed and nothing more, I believe we could better enjoy our days. Everything we own weighs us down, not physically, but mentally. Everything requires some form of maintenance, causing our stuff to weigh on our mind. So, at the end of the day, we’ve spent energy possessing things we don’t truly need. Granted, if I could have used a knife, band aid, flashlight, or medicine during the hike, these things could have been valuable; but I would have survived without them.

In conclusion, while owning certain things can make life more comfortable, they also weigh us down and can hinder us from having the fullest experience.

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