Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
— Anais Nin, “Winter of Artifice”
Life is dynamic. By its very nature, it cannot become static. Things that don’t change, die. When the surroundings (the environment) changes, life has to adapt…to evolve…otherwise, it dies. When we become settled in our comfort zone, we cease to grow. Have you ever seen small trees growing from small patches of soil on rocky outcroppings? These are natural bonsais. They are confined…thus, their growth is limited. Take that same small tree and transplant it in an open field and it will grow into its full size.
The same is true with all living things. Allow life its breath and it will grow to its fullest. People who have contact with different cultures, who have travelled, who sample different cuisines, who examine different ideas have broader outlooks. These people are more understanding, more tolerant, more compassionate because they have allowed their experiences, their travels, their intermingling to tap the potential inherent in all living beings. They see past the differences that alienate us from one another, and see the commonality, the brotherhood, the community to which we all belong.
Those who do not venture out of their comfort zones are like bonzais. Don’t get me wrong, I love bonzai. They are a testament to the stubborness of life to persist…not to give up in spite of the limited space. The point I’m driving at is…to limit ourselves to the familiar, to what is known, is boring and stagnant. If we were created to be stagnant, God wouldn’t have given us legs with which to walk, jump and run. We wouldn’t be given a curious mind to discover and invent. If we were meant to be confined, why did God create such a vast universe with wonders waiting to be discovered, learned, understood, and appreciate. As Jody Foster’s character in the movie, Contact, said, “It’s a terrible waste of space.”