Are You Enjoying the Ride?

Paul Veliyathil
3 min readMar 23, 2023

Although not always aware, we know that we are living on a spinning planet. Planet Earth is on a ride. But the question is are we earthlings riding along.

If surveys are any indication, most people are not enjoying the ride.

For many, the ride is often tiring, boring, depressing, bumpy, and monotonous. They don’t appreciate the scenery. They complain about the potholes on the road and the detours on the route. They don’t care about their fellow riders. They are impatient with them for driving slowly or angry with them for driving too fast. They cut in front of them, sideswipe them, or flip fingers at them. They run out of gas. They break down. All the experiences of driving on the road are true of our emotional life journey too.

If you are in a bad relationship, or you have conflict in the family, or discord at your workplace, and feel disconnected from the larger humanity, you are unlikely to enjoy the ride.

Imagine going on a road trip with your family and not speaking to them during the entire trip. Imagine everyone getting out of the car and enjoying the sites on the way, and you refuse to get out of the car. Imagine checking into a hotel in Grand Canyon National Park. In the morning everyone in your group goes out to see the Grand Canyon, but you stay in the room and sleep. That is how a lot of people treat their ride on planet Earth — like a chore rather than a celebration.

The tenth lesson from a revolving Earth is: Surrender and enjoy the ride.

Let me explain that using the analogy of a roller coaster ride.

In 1981, I was visiting Disney World in Florida. One of the main attractions there is the Space Mountain, in the Magic Kingdom. I had no idea what to expect. I thought it would be like one of the smaller rides like the Ferris Wheel or the carousel. I had never seen roller coasters, let alone ridden on one of them. I stood in line totally clueless about what was to come.

I was strapped inside the car, and it began to move slowly, and before I knew it, it picked up speed, twisting, turning, climbing, and falling. As you might know, the space mountain ride takes place totally in the dark. I was so terrified that I held tightly to the handlebars holding for dear life. My glasses flew off my face, my hands were shaking, my heart was pounding, and I was turned upside down physically and mentally. After a terrifying minute, I came out at the bottom of the mountain, distressed, discombobulated, disoriented, and furious. It was not my idea of fun.

But for the people in front of me and behind me, it was a totally enjoyable and exhilarating experience.

So, I asked myself: What is wrong with this picture? How come everyone else enjoyed the ride and I didn’t?

What happened that day was the result of my not knowing what a roller coaster was and what the experience would be like. I clung to the rails and tried to control the ride, while my fellow riders let go off their perceived control and surrendered to the flow.

Is it possible that most people don’t enjoy life because they don’t know what life is about, and how to live it meaningfully and joyfully?

Is it possible that most people live unexamined lives?

Lack of awareness about our true nature as souls living on soil, can lead us to personal desolation and interpersonal destruction.

We are the most advanced generation ever to live on the planet with all modern comforts and conveniences, yet we are not the most joyful generation.

We have traveled 250k miles into outer space and touched the moon, but we have not traveled less than 12 inches into our inner consciousness and touched our soul. That is pathetic and tragic at the same time.

(from Cosmic Kindergarten: Earthly Lessons for a Heavenly Life)

--

--

Paul Veliyathil

I am a citizen of India by birth, a citizen of the united states by choice and a citizen of the world at heart.