Sunday, September 30, 2007

The World

Sometimes, in "the world" (which we are all in), we need to decide what WE can do. We need to meet our own needs, obviously, and the needs of those who depend on us. But after that, what have we accomplished? Have we made somebody happy? Have we left something, contributed something? Have we left a positive mark, or a negative one?

I feel that, suddenly, I'm confronted with the positive/negative issue. Since I am single and somewhat selfish, this is especially difficult because I can't just say "I have children" and pretend that that -- alone -- makes a positive contribution. I need to wonder about art, society, "The World." What have I done?

All of us, I think, should take stock occasionally. Do the inventory. Do it realistically. John Barth -- who I'm reading an awful lot of -- thinks that our STORIES are important...the things we do, accomplish, and be. I agree to an extent but I wonder about MY story...what does it tell? How does it end? What sort of "character" am I?

You know what? I think I shape up pretty good. I could exit with a more-or-less clear conscience right at this moment, thinking that I wasn't too lazy, too selfish, too stupid. But if I have more time allotted to me, I suppose I want to become a less FRAGILE person, a person who can stand up not just to the easy and stupid stuff, but to the moderately annoying stuff, and to the REALLY BAD STUFF.

I can look at myself and say that I've reached a good first step. I'm setting goals and trying to reach them. I'm trying to live effectively, happily, productively, without getting stuck in a rut.

Eric -- who, if you've been following this blog, you might remember -- would respond with "what?" I'd say in return that people who are in the middle of something don't necessarily understand what they are in the middle of. I don't know. I feel the need to express it. This is what I'm thinking about right now, and if a blog isn't a bin for important thoughts and feelings, what is it for?

I guess what I'm saying -- part of it -- is that I treasure you, good people. I really do. Knowing that you are "there" is something that keeps me going almost as much as my parents or my cat or my basic need to continue. I might not say it enough, but I'm working on that. We are all trying to get along in "the world," and if you can spare just a moment to wonder how you are accomplishing that goal, then I think you're doing just fine. Most people don't stop to think.

And now, something more beautiful and meaningful than I could EVER post: Book of Love's "Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls."


LJ said...

Wow, some pretty heavy thinking for an early Sunday morning. I couldn't agree with you more. It really makes you think when someone close to you dies, and a few years later, you realize how little you think of them, and the rest of the world, barely remembers them, unless you talk about them.

I was at a funeral lately where nobody had anything to say about the person. How sad is that, nobody can think of anything significant in your life. I don't want to be remembered/or not remembered like that.

I admire people who can stand up, against all of the odds, for what they believe in. I'm not sure I could do that?? I would rather let life go by without any big hurdles, I just like to coast.But that isn't how you "make a difference".


Adam Thornton said...

I like to coast as well, but I do try to leave SOMETHING in my wake: some music, a blog, some pictures, a few good stories, a person who was glad that I was there. I've never been called to stand up for my beliefs in a way that was actually difficult or dangerous, but I like to think that I's probably easier to think that way when you don't have children.

I don't quite believe in an afterlife, but I DO believe that it's important to leave something behind to offset the bad things in the world. As an adult I'm needing to make decisions about what it right and wrong, selfish and selfless, positive and negative, and if at the end of a night I can feel proud of my conduct...well, then I think I've done pretty good!

Anonymous said...

Awww. Sometimes the struggle itself is the thing. Gandhi said, "My life is my message". Touche!

A guy who resonates with me:

And for the "lurkers" out there:
But the empty balloon that represents an ogy has acquired a new counterpart- a counterpart that has only come into its own with the arrival of the internet. And these new critters have taken the empty dialogue balloon one step further. They don't even use their voices as the ogies did. In fact, they never say anything at all. But we all know they're there. We call them LURKERS. I know about lurkers because I've often been one myself. So, in a way, a lurker is really a new and improved kind of ogy. They like you. They follow you around. They pay attention to you, but they never really let you know they're around. Why not? All sorts of different reasons. Maybe the territory is a little strange to them. Or maybe it's more fun being a disembodied watcher. Or maybe they're not sure what they want to say and don't want to embarrass themselves.

Anonymous said...

A website with useful background info

Anonymous said...

I've been having similar thoughts in recent months. What am I leaving behind? I have kids, but there's the ego-stroke side of me that says that that cannot possibly be enough.
While I am somewhat creative (I'm told), I'm very much more an idea guy than one for seeing said ideas to fruition.
I'd like to think that there are folks who will remember me fondly, but is that enough? I don't know.