Leader of the pack?
Sometimes I worry that I'm losing "it."
I can't help but fear the possibility that
all of the things that made me special
have faded away. Over a lifetime each
of us evolve, expand, and contract as
external factors impact our perspective.
And slowly, much of that delusional
differentiation that we assumed made
us unique slowly fades away. In the
end we realize that by and large we
humans are but a pile of pablum. A
mass of messes. And the only thing
that often differentiates us is LUCK.
When my daughter "E" last visited me
in Montana she posed many questions.
One related to the early completion of
my education post skipping two grades.
She wondered whether I had realized that
I was smarter than most. My answer?
No, I just did what I was told. Hence
I've no clue as to who made that final
decision to drive my forward momentum.
To me it all seemed so natural and that
may be the greatest gift of youth. Could
not realizing what you've got nor how
you got it be the best way to succeed?
I worked most of my life since the age
of fourteen. Actually earlier given I was
a paper boy at twelve. Looking back my
initial foray into the work force had little
to do with me. Rather it was due to my
parent's commitment to pushing me out
into the world. There was many a rainy
day when the last thing I wanted was to
deliver sodden news. However post their
prodding I did what I had to do. And now
in hindsight that initial step into reality
was the best lesson imaginable. You see
it changed my life for the better... forever.
Naivety might possibly be the ultimate
gift from God. With age comes wisdom.
Yet I can't help but wonder if knowing
too much stands in our way of doing
more. In days of yore there seemed to
be nothing we couldn't do. Whatever
situation we were thrown into, we each
survived and usually thrived. That's all
because we had no preconceived notions.
Given a task we accomplished it then
quickly moved on. None of us were
victims given the idea of failing never
entered our minds. We rose above it.
With wisdom comes a bitch slap of reality.
Slowly we learn that caprice can never be
controlled and hence we each develop a
plethora of self-defense mechanisms. The
problem is that said safety net often defers
one's forward momentum. We assume it's
safer to stay here... than risk going there.
Given human nature, many of us resent
our self imposed inertia. Which leads us
to search for someone, anyone else than
ourselves to blame for our inability to push
beyond a certain point. When in all truth...
WE DID IT TO OURSELVES.
Nobody likes to be told what to do. And
yet in retrospect, most of us wouldn't be
where we are today sans some external
force pushing us to next. Growing up
requires assuming responsibility for
ourselves and others. Thus maturity also
requires assuming the mantle as mentor.
If one is honest, little of what made us
who we are today had anything to do
with ourselves alone. Rather it is due to
somebody above us leading, prodding,
teaching, and pushing us over the line
forward. Are you a leader of your pack?
Facts of life
Could life in reality be an exercise in
reciprocity? As part of the collective
whole - we each have a responsibility
to pay our way. Preparing said path
for those younger may be the best way
to pay our fare before we reach the end
of our line. Nurturing and encouraging
the bravado of youth may be hard for
some. However if one ever hopes to
relive their youth, they must be willing
to help other self starters succeed. That
will deliver the ultimate return for our
investment. Give and we shall receive!