it’s not just about getting there; it’s about getting it right. That means the objective is on one level different for each one of us; but it also means we have to be satisfied with what we’ve achieved and how we did it. What makes this task easy is that there is no one to tell you what to do or how to it.
Each of us lives within certain inalienable and inalterable resources and restrictions. This is the clay that is molded. Yet recall it is cast in a framework. Some of these particulars are fastened to and embedded within us. These paradigms form much of the detail of our existence. How we exploit this material and for what purpose is the capital of our human description. It is the record of that endeavour which gives us either intentionally or unwittingly our worldly curriculum vitae.
Like it or not life is a manifestation of ability and desire. To achieve that fulfillment is the reward of our being. Most of us will succeed to do so in spite of ourselves. This is important to keep in mind when assessing how we’ve done. I say this because too often people are propelled by objectives which are inconsistent with either or both those elemental features of ability and desire. It is a variation of the adage, “If you do what you like then you’ll like what you do.” The process is quite simple in that respect even though we often ignore the stimuli.
There is value being driven by rational assessments, things like saving money and avoiding too much booze. But the appeal of what are often innate appetites affords serious competition. This means we are guided by instinctive ambitions. The governance of these traits is the one to which we must surrender.
by Gerald Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went<
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
The depiction of life, its energy, its purpose, its objective and mechanics are but expressions of our personal view. As I am wont to recall, the succinct question once put to me was, “Quelle est votre perspective?” There are those who for example identify their ruling imperatives in obscure and impenetrable terms such as are commonly ascribed to religion. My objection to religion is the same as to any other perspective; namely, don’t presume you’ve captured the essence. It is not the astuteness of the perspective; rather its point of view.
For those who feel compelled to make everything and everyone in the world align with their personal perspective, the topic shifts from uniformity to conformity, the terms of which are government and law. Those ruling features are mere creations of man and may have nothing whatever to do with the individual. General society is not to be confused with personal propriety. Submission to the rules of society does not for the most part conflict with personal ambition and expression. Similarly amendment of social stricture and structure is far removed from the discussion of one’s inherent traits.
The success of one’s life is not where we’re perched but rather how we got there. In my experience every conclusion about life is but a roadside detail, one by which we inevitably pass. It is an evolution. Just as eventually Nature teaches us how to die so too does it change with time until the end. The predictability of achievement lies in the recognition of its variety and unfolding; otherwise there is no certainty or finality.