The search for meaning is universal. Astrology, philosophy, theology, and many other avenues are readily available for exploration. Finding yourself can be a lifelong occupation. Discovering who you are before you expire is admirable. But, if you don’t have enough time left to build a life on what you learn, what’s the point?
Don’t give up – get focused!
A number of years ago (no need to get specific here) it was very popular to ask people, what’s your sign? When it comes to romance, the notion that the stars could align to provide a soulmate, is intoxicating. Wait a minute. In 2011 major news outlets reported that the Earth’s rotation changed the zodiac signs. Does that mean I’m not who I think I am? Is there an impending identity crisis being thrust upon mankind? No worries, mate. You can’t release an epidemic on an already infected population.
Cultural trends have a shelf life. A fad alters things in the moment. Things like clothing styles and music tastes change. Often. Even the arts have to remain fluid to hold our interest. For something to last, it has to extend from our desires, that don’t change. You can be insanely popular today and a distant memory tomorrow. I think what comes and goes reflects our willingness for distractions. What endures reveals what’s important to us.
When Mark Zukerberg launched “The facebook” in 2004 he tapped into our abiding passion for connection. From zero, to over one and a half billion users, Facebook continues to grow. As with anything this large it points-out strengths and weaknesses. It show-cases what’s real and what’s not. Bringing out the best and worst in it’s subscribers. It does provide an opportunity, for people to declare, who they think they are.
From a single horse drawn carriage to a 280 horse-powered car, we’ve advanced our inclinations, to go places. In just a few hours in a plane we can cross the country. A few more hours and we can travel the globe. The potential of human beings is experienced with every achievement. From building massive cruise ships, to landing on the moon, our capabilities find expression. These things tell us what we can do – not who we are!
Taking notice of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, it’s clear, we are all just one idea away from the next big thing. We can record a hit song. Write a best seller. Paint a masterpiece. Develop new technologies. Make millions of dollars. But, who are we? With all of our advancements the world stays it’s course of disrupted harmony. Lacking in peace, we carry the ills of our shared community. What we do isn’t as important as why we do it.
I wouldn’t want to be in a world where I couldn’t be touched by the talents of fellow sojourners. I have so many moments to reflect on when my heart was lifted by another human being. Celebrating life is grand. When I think about the insurmountable suffering I have neighboring my delight, it gives me pause. If I let it become depressing I won’t have a response. But if it awakens me I will find a place of impact. If I become desensitized-I become cynical.
My life review includes disappointments. My own mostly. I’ve also experienced sponsors of terror. Willing contributors to my anxiety. How people see themselves dictate relationships. In a fast moving world, it can be tough, to find a place to rest. Providing the ability to redefine priorities.
I have accomplishments. I want more. I’ve figured out if I only want to achieve heights, for self-aggrandizement, it leaves fulfillment wanting. My greatest times of satisfaction come when I’m being to someone else, what they cannot be to themselves, in that moment. My best thrills haven’t come from a stage of applause. Which can disappear in a nanosecond. No. It’s been from the life-changing look in the eyes of the thankful. Who didn’t have the words to express that defining moment in their life. When I supplied a hug. A listening ear. A meal. Encouragement. A pair of shoes for a little boy. Sharing tears without judgement. Who knows? what it means to them! The effect it has on me is priceless.
How many of us laughed hysterically at Bill Engvall’s, Here’s your sign? I won’t expound on the jokes themselves. They’re easily found online. But the premise fits my subject. Are there signs available to help find one’s self? Your talent may not be your gatekeeper. What makes you tick? (the thing or things that get you excited) What ticks you off? (the thing or things that make you hopping mad) These are signs to who you are. Read them and respond from the heart. Feeling the way you do offers an introduction to your destiny. Solving problems, for ourselves and for others, leads to significance.
Perhaps Gandhi said it best; “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
With all the talent running loose it hasn’t eliminated chaos. Relieved our pain. Or made us better. A personal definition of success is what instructs the individual. What I think, commands my energy. I question any stage that doesn’t lift its audience.
I ask myself; Who do you THINK you are?