"Don't you ever ask them, "Why?" If they told you, you would cry So just look at them and sigh And know they love you"
Who knows this Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song? It's a beautiful song, and to me it represents the passing of time, and understanding that each generation has its own thing, and none of us need be judgemental over what "should" be done. We just need to acknowledge that we may never fully understand the generation that comes after us. So we live believing and acting as if the world is going to be what we grew up learning.
I got to hang out with my little 5 year old nephew for a lot of hours this weekend. More than I have ever since he was born. And it was a trip, a real trip. One that got me thinking about how he sees the world vs me, his father, my sister in law, my parents, how his even younger brother will see the world.
I'm sure if Marcus Aurelius were around in this modern age, he would tell us "Don't should, could, would. Rather, be, do, act." But we don't need him in this modern age, because he said it even simpler two millennia ago, "Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one."
We ask our youth about their dreams, what they want to be when they be when they grow up. We idolize careers, and give kids reasons to dream big. We give them options. We give them reasons to have options. Reasons to strive. We allow them to draw and color outside the lines. We make them get dirty, because "that's how kids learn", we used to force them to be bored so they would find things to do to use their imaginations, and then at some point in our lives we begin to "accept reality" that OUR dreams were "never meant to be" or worse..."I can't do that, I'm not [insert excuse here]..." or worst of all, we begin to lie to ourselves that it's not acceptable for an adult to dream. We may even dwell into the "sanctified ignorance", a phrase I learned this week while listening to Dan Miller's book "48 Days to the Work (and Life) You Love".
According to Dan Miller, this is what the phrase means:
"Sanctified Ignorance, the belief that if we love God and have committed our lives to him, everything will just work out, is an immature theology. Getting up each morning as a clean slate, just open to whatever may happen that day, will lead to a life of mediocrity. This is not the path of accomplishment, of excellence, of maximizing our impact and witness. The path of least resistance, just going where it seems easiest to go, creates very crooked streams, and very frustrated Christians. The truly Godly life is one of focused purpose, having like Paul, defined the goal and created a plan for its accomplishment."
Now I am not a Christian, nor am I overly religious of any sort. I am spiritual, and I believe there has to be something bigger out there, beyond us, but what it is, we don't know. However I mention the excerpt because you don't have to be religious to see the context of the words. Read more about the Sanctified Ignorance here, https://www.48days.com/sanctified-ignorance/
Why don't we allow adults to dream big? We shake our heads at the idea of a mid-life crisis, but here's a fun fact, at some point your life is more than half over, and you don't know when that point is.
After all you could get married and be dead just a few hours later killed by a drunk driver. Or you could smoke, drink, take drugs, eat hordes of food every day being a gluttonous pig and live the longest life of anyone you know.
We don't know that cards we're dealt. We can't really look back either because looking back you only see the map you've drawn. We find it easy to allow ourselves to act like we can't change circumstances. We allow ourselves to make easily avoidable decisions out of ease, out of habit, out of contentment for what will feel good in the end.
We stop challenging ourselves at some point, and when you stop feeling challenged you have allowed yourself to dig your own grave and die at a young age.
We may even discipline our children, or youth around us, but not have it within us to apply that discipline to us when we need, for we are the adult and we know better. Kids bend space and time like it's going out of style. Adults sit in traffic jams pondering the meaning of life and then when it comes time to act, they press the brakes instead of the gas. And then one day....it's all over. No one at the end of their life is going to wish they said they worked more at a job they hated. No they will say "I wish I had..."
I heard a song from Tenille Townes recently, called "The Last Time" listen to it here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3ODd6bkczQ. The chorus is:
"Everyone remembers the first time 'Cause the heart knows there'll never be another like this But the thing about the last time Is you don't know that it's the last time 'til it is"
When's the last time you acted on a dream, or hell, even allowed yourself to dream, even if it's small. How long have you been stuck in the reality of the life "passing by" in the fast lane?
How long has it been since you peeled away the mask you wear? To quote André Berthiaume, “We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.”
Ripping the band aid of my own issues revealed a wound so large I didn't want to deal with it. It took me 3-4 years of hard hard work and effort to retrain my brain to even remotely allow myself to act on a dream. Talk and action are two different ends of the stick.
If you're reading this and you've been feeling stuck, or feeling lost, write that list of dreams out that you have, and I challenge you to act on at least one of them. Write your own eulogy as if you've achieved all your dreams, goals and desires, and all those things you put in there come true. Imagine what the crowd will be like at your wake if only you just took that chance on your dream. I don't want you saying "I wish I had..." at the end of your life like so many others do.
Write to me firstname.lastname@example.org and let's talk about it if you want. I don't talk out of school, and I'll keep your secret unless you want me to tell the world and connect dots as much as I can for you.
Have yourself an amazing weekend my fellow Chickens.