The buddha once said, "Bhikkhus & friends, imagine a single floating ring drifting in the great oceans! Imagine also a blind turtle, which surfaces only once every hundred years...What do you think, Bhikkhus, would that blind turtle by chance often dive right up under this randomly drifting single ring & insert its neck in the hole?"
The Bhikkhus replied, "If it ever would at all, Sir, it would only happen after an incredibly long time!"
"Yet, Bhikkhus & friends, I tell you, that this would happen sooner, than a fool, who has fallen into the lower worlds would again regain this rare human state..."
I equate regaining this rare human state something like walking on the moon.
You see, only 12 men have walked on the moon since man started using tools about 2.5 million years ago. That means it took roughly 80 billion human minds - since 10,000 B.C. - to figure out how to build a rocket and land on the moon's surface. Furthermore, only 12 of those 80 billion humans have actually walked on the moon's surface. That means there's a 12 in 80 billion chance of walking on the moon. Not very good odds if I say so myself. On the other hand, even though we - human beings - have walked on the moon, we still have trouble doing it again.
So according to the Buddha, we are all walking on the moon. This is definitely not an opportunity we should waste. If we were on the moon, would we stay in the landing craft? Wouldn't we hit the ground running? Would we walk around without taking any notes or pictures? Would we daydream about our friends, spouses or family whilst on the moon? No, we would be meticulously mindful of every moment we had. We would be fully aware that this kind of thing only comes once every 7 billion lifetimes. We would not waste a single second, a single breath.
Now, there are many people in this world who treat life rather carelessly. Examples of mass murder are rampant, especially in recent times. Suicide is a household word, and almost all of us have a had friend or family member who has attempted-and sometimes committed-suicide. Is life so terrible that we cannot bear it a second longer? Depression is one of the top reasons people commit suicide. What could be so terribly depressing that you wouldn't take full advantage of a moonwalk? Another touchy subject is abortion. Whether you believe an embryo is a real person or not, no one can claim that an embryo will never become a person. To say that abortion is okay because this 'thing' is not a person yet is a ludicrous notion. That's like saying this astronaut might not live until the rocket takes off so we should not train him at all. Buddhism is against the harming of ALL sentient beings. An embryo has-according to definition-sentience; the capacity for sensation or feeling. Although it may not sense or feel at this very moment, no one can deny that it has capacity for such actions in the future.
Why do we take having this human life so lightly? We spend hours working for money. We wash and feed our bodies everyday. Yet, we rarely, if ever, take time to invest in our minds. We rarely take time to wash and feed our minds. We'd much rather poison our dull our minds with senseless media sex and violence than sit and meditate for a few minutes. Now I am not being judgmental. I am also guilty. Red handed. However, it is not too late for me, or anyone else who is still alive and kicking to find happiness. If we study the Dharma and weave the Buddha's advice into our lives, it is simple to find happiness.
As the Buddha once said, "Do not give way to heedlessness. Do not indulge in sensual pleasures. Only the heedful and meditative attain great happiness."