The change in seasons brings allergies, colds, and that frustrating nasal drip cough. Not wet, so you think you can clear something out of your throat, but that dry cough that feels like you are rubbing sandpaper on your vocal cords. Like many people, I turn to something tiny yet powerful. Small but mighty! The magic of a cough drop.
After coughing throughout my morning run, and then still after a warm shower, I dug into my drawer of medicine (which doesn’t contain much more than outdated Ibuprofen, some old antibiotics from when I had oral surgery, and cough drops). I grabbed a couple to make sure I had a spare in my pocket if I coughed up a lung during a meeting with students. Dissecting a vomited lung might be an intriguing and entertaining Anatomy and Physiology Lab for my students; however, it would not be so much fun for the professor teaching the course that coughed up the aforementioned lung. Mainly me!
Away, I went ready to start my day with two cough drops in my pocket. I got a few hours into emails, coughed a few times, and decided to reach into my two-drop arsenal to rid the pesky tickle in my pharynx (throat) before my first meeting. When I looked down at the small candy-like hard food wrapped gently in white paper with black and yellow lettering, a phrase was written on the paper. It was lying dead center in my frozen right palm. I don’t know exactly how long I sat there staring at the cough drop, the letters, words, and the entire phrase, but it struck me that I could take a MOMENT and learn something. What was on this small wonder of human medicine, you ask? Simply this, “Don’t waste a precious minute.” After the words settled into my mind and body, I opened up the wrapper and placed the cough drop in my mouth. I then consciously took the time that the wrapper demanded me to appreciate the sweet taste, the soothing feeling in my mouth and throat, and the peace in my mind and body.
From there, I walked to my computer and began typing this blog. You see, it was not just the profound nature of the writing to “not waste time” in our lives. For that is vital in life, and we can address that in other blogs and on the Act To Live Podcast. Instead, it was the fact that learning comes in different forms and when we least expect it. Inspiration is like that too. We just need to open our eyes and notice our environment a little more. If we do that, opportunities of learning and inspiration can emerge from events, objects, and people surrounding us.
What will inspire you next? What will you learn if you just pause long enough to notice things around you? How will you be moved by the simplest of events? How can you move others in simple ways?
Pema Chodren wrote, “Life is good teacher. And a good friend.” What will life, and cough drops, teach you and inspire you to do next?
We appreciate you all and all you have to offer the world.
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