The 5 Things We Must Never Forget to Do

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

There was once a poet and mystic from Persia by the name of Rumi. His gift to the world lay in the simplicity by which he saw such complexity -- with love, life, truth.

Rumi was once quoted as sharing (and since translated by Coleman Barks):

There is one thing you must never forget to do.
If you forget everything else and not this,
there's nothing left to worry about;
But if you remember everything else and forget this,
then you will have done nothing in your life.

One thing. The one thing. Yet what is this "one thing" he refers to? And how would one know when they have found it?

I'm not certain about the one thing, and even if I was it would likely be my one thing and therefore of little value perhaps to you. But I do know there are five things we must never forget to do, if one is to live a good life, a grand journey.

1. Simply Live


By this, I mean to find those moments that define a life well lived -- and live them. To be present in the gift of each breath. To make the most of this gift through our thoughts, our words, our actions. To be good to ourselves and to one another. And to know oneself, be oneself, and give of oneself in leaving this world a bit better than we found it, by vetting our life choices through the portal of greater possibility, and then having the courage to live the life we were born to live. Life is filled with seeming complexities. Yet, if one were to look closer we would see that all complexities are wound with threads of simplicity. And the mastery lay in the weaving of a greater tapestry through such fine threads.

2. Simply Laugh


A wise teacher once shared, "We do not have a choice on whether we go through something; but we do have a choice in how we choose to experience it." He was of course referring to our attitude about those situations that arise in everyday life; how we choose to relate to these situations, circumstances. For the issue is never really the issue. How we relate to the issue; that is the issue. Laughing or crying, we go through it nonetheless. Perhaps in the laughter we may find the means of not taking ourselves or one another too seriously. Just the thought of it makes me smile. The living of it, may make the world smile.

3. Simply Love


How would one do this? After all, is there anything simple about love on this planet? We have all been through the trials, the tribulations, the rise and fall of our hearts around this thing called love. Yet, there appears to be a formula for not only the preservation of the heart, but the expansion of it. If one can love, without conditions, with such pure intention that it speaks -- through our actions -- "The Love in me recognizes the Love in you" and is done so in an inclusive manner, without the need to need, to possess, to set upon a road of expectations; only then perhaps may we know of a Love so "simple," so ideal. It exists. It exists within us. The outward expression thereof? Well, that is up to us.

4. Simply Learn


This requires we remember always the role of the student we play. Whether recalcitrant or obliging, the learning comes -- eventually. The opportunities for learning come often, as often as we require. And once again, there are two roads one may travel: the road muddied by our own misfortunate set of choices (and the reliving of such learning opportunities, if so inclined); and the road of grace and ease, once we decide to accept that which is ours and take responsibility for the learning that is available to us -- always and in all ways -- for our growth and upliftment.

5. Simply Leave


This one is a bit tricky. For to simply leave this place called earth, and travel on by passageway of whatever one's beliefs, can be a difficult journey indeed. It requires trust. It asks of us to let go, and allow whatever forces are in play to take it from there. It provides us with a mirror and a window in the moment; a mirrored reflection of our life as we have lived; and a window into what lies ahead, beyond fear, beyond doubt, and into the certainty of our inherent destiny.

And the "one thing" we came here to do? The one thing we must never forget?

I leave that to your good selves...
To uncover before you "leave" your good selves...
And journey on.

David Scott Clegg is the author of the award-winning novel The Longest Distance. He is the Managing Director of The HEAD Foundation, a global education think tank; and Founder of UNITE Education.