“If instead of going to the end of the railroad, old Mr. Shimerda had stayed in New York and picked up a living with his fiddle, how different Antonia’s life might have been.” – My Antonia by Willa Cather
I reviewed this book at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2VK365XEVCYC8/ref=cm_aya_pdp_home/103-8425687-1069426
Want to know a possible reason why a girl asks you to go to Rocky Horror Picture Show?
“The movie was ‘A good thing to take a first date to? Because you find out what kind of person they are by the way they react.’ “
- ‘Meg’ from “Going All The Way” by Susan Thompson, which I reviewed at:
A characteristic of passions that are worthwhile is that they consistently create proportional positive returns back to you to the degree you pursue them. The goal may not be to obtain or achieve them. Don’t undervalue or not see the benefits realized in the pursuits of passions.
I appreciate Borisb’s honest sentiment below. Why is it some people, like Sisyphus, push the rock up the hill forever in “vain” labor, trying to ‘make a difference.’ I can understand the criticism. It can be pretty cocky and presumptive to think that ‘a difference’ even needs to be made. What fewer people know is the reason WHY Sisyphus chose each day to push the rock up the hill. According to Wikipedia, the task was forced on him by Zeus as a punishment for helping Asopus find his daughter, whom Zeus had hidden away.
Sisyphus did NOT choose to be a martyr. And he did not give up. He could have stopped at anytime and let the rock lay still. But I suspect he did not regret helping Asopus find his daughter. I suspect he was willing to accept the unjust punishment. I suspect he knew other people would see him each day pushing the rock up the hill, and he was willing to make his life an example of making the most of his fate in the midst of unfair circumstances. He could not change Zeus’ mind. He did not choose to ‘waste’ his time pushing the rock up the hill. Zeus chose that part of his fate for him.
So why try to make a difference when ‘Zeus’, ‘God’, ‘people’, or ‘culture’, will not change their mind? Because it is still a good moral alternative. And even if in the end it proves to be fruitless, it was still a moral way to live.
We are responsible to define our worlds. To live instead of just exist, consider: How can I change:
1) How I perceive myself
2) How I perceive others
3) My social environment
Women often incorrectly overblame their problems and their social community’s problems on their internal “inability” to change themselves. Major change and improvements rarely involve just one person changing in a vacuum. In most major lifestyle improvements there are multiple dependent components involving perception, action, and community. Focusing on all 3 of those considerations, instead of just 1, can devise better solutions that have a greater chance of success.
Someone who knew me very well said, “I love you . . . despite all the difficulties.” I responded, “Is there any other kind?” quoting Jack Nicholson from “As Good As It Gets.” No love exists in the absence of things taking unwished-for-turns from time to time. I’ve learned many good things in forgiveness, but I’ve yet to discover the merits of trying to forget.
“There ain’t nothing like regret, to remind you you’re alive.” ‘The Difficult Kind’ by Sheryl Crow
A key to finding motivation to pursue your passions may ironically be connected to your greatest pains from your past. Passion is sometimes a response to not repeat past errors.
Ok, so you’ve made consistent, honest efforts to be creative and you really have not found an artform you are good at creating. You can’t paint paintings you or others want. You can’t write music that you or others want to hear, etc.
But what if at the end of your life you want to judge part of your success by the amount of quality art you left behind?
In that case, reconsider and improve your efforts to encourage other artists, whose work you do like and want to encourage.
Thank you for the insightful ideas. You communicate that “living” implies being connected and making connections. I think for me that is true. So does anyone think it’s possible to “live” without being connected to other people? Is the “lesser” state of “existence” characterized by a marked absence of connections to other people? Is it possible for you personally to “live” on Walden Pond with just nature and animals, in the absence of regular efforts to make connections with other people?
“There are two spots on women that need to be touched more: the back of the neck and the lower back. Fireworks.” – Dana Delany
Whatever the people around you can do that you can’t do, whether it’s play a guitar, excel in certain social situations, write software, find complex engineering solutions, or whatever – be extra, extra careful not to discourage those parts of them.
Improve the opportunity for the people around you to shine. Sometimes this will mean you must be silent and give them time and space to act apart from you.
“Our favorite foreplay technique? Mental stimulation. The kind where we’re mentally tickled to the point of laughter.” – Sanaa Lathan
Women have often been cautioned to not trust their emotions. Emotions have often been characterized as counter to moral behavior. Those presumptions may be incorrect.
If you want to learn more about the study of emotions, affective and cognitive sciences, mood “disorders”, or “manic” episodes, and you have an iPod: At the iTunes music store: podcast page, type in “Psych 156”. This is an extensive series of upper division lectures on developing emotional sciences from a UC Berkeley professor.
Emotions are not simply intrinsic and selfish. They are more influenced by cultural defintions and external pressures than many people may understand.
I have listened to 2 of the lectures so far, and I hope to continue to learn more as I listen to the rest.
That’s a start. But you might also want to write a subset of that category. Write in the overlap of things that also fit into these other categories:
1) What you don’t think many other people know
2) What you think might disarm fears, promote pleasure, and reduce suffering
3) What respects the reader’s time
There have been child prodigy musicians and painters. But to the best of my knowledge, no great work of literature has been created by a child.
Musicians play from their hearts even when they are broken.
“A private plane will not make up for the fact that you have bad breath.” – Dana Delany
Does the distinction of “living” over “existing” mean that a person is considering or interacting with new things? Or at least combining old ideas or entities in new ways? Is consistently reaching outside our current boundaries and understandings an intregral part of life? What distinguishes “living” from “existing” for you? I’d be interested in thoughtful lists responding to that question.
It’s never just about your freedom. If you choose to not live free, you communicate an “acceptable” standard for others. “Promise to live free.” – Jem, from the song “24”
“Forget what we’re told. Before we get too old. Show me a garden bursting into life.” – Snow Patrol