Saturday, February 06, 2016

Finding my place

For something so precious, time is very easy to squander -- particularly when one is comfortable. It is easy to float through life as if it's a lazy river -- sipping on cocktails and enjoying cocktails and warm water. I am becoming lazy. I am drifting.

What I just wrote feels too harsh though I half believe it. I was about to pen my resolve to forge goals for the coming years, but at my innermost core I know what I do will be ultimately meaningless. Nothing I ever do will if viewed with a broad and long term perspective will ever be of any significance. If I think so, I always remind myself to name the last 5 Nobel peace prize winners or the last super bowl QB or the 5th richest man in the world. No one remembers.... and who can blame them.   

I struggle with the tension between enjoying what I have, being content, and the desire to push myself to do more. To make the most of the time I have while on earth. The tension between knowing that my life and what I have done will fall away like leaves in the fall and knowing that progress does make life better. I can't deny that we are better for cures to diseases, medicine that relieves plan, tools to help us communicate, warm, safe homes. 

I suppose what I am denying is the significance of the individual in the modern world. Humanity is too large and expansive for any one man to be credited with pushing the entire species forward.

I guess it's similar to something that happened to me late yesterday evening after work...

I saw a man pushing a pickup into a gas station uphill. He could move it but he couldn't get it over the small curb so that it would be able to roll to the pump. Given I was only a few yards away, I tried to back up so that I could avoid having his truck roll back into my car since we were on a hill. As I moved in reverse, the car behind me wouldn't back up even as I tapped my brake lights in his face and repeatedly inched closer towards the front bumper of car. He wouldn't budge and looked at me in a somewhat annoyed manner. I was very irritated at his apparent incompetence but there was little I could do. I was stuck between a car that could potentially roll into mine and a car that wouldn't move. Since there was little else I could do to avoid an accident, I hopped out of my car. We pushed and were still unable to get it over the hump. The guy behind me just sat there and watched.  Anyway, as the two of us continued to push without any success, two passengers from the car behind me eventually hopped out and helped us push it into the fuel station. 

Humanity is often like that -- people you don't know and sometimes don't like push it forward... sometimes just because they have to in order to get where they are going. We are all better for it.

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