Sunday, February 2, 2014

Good Morning Jacob...

Letter to my Son
Sunday, 2 February

The Joy of Living

Good Morning Jacob…

I hope your days are going well.  Someday I hope to see the product of your creative mind over the past few years.  I am filled with hope.  After intellect and love I believe hope is probably the most powerful of human assets.  I can’t imagine we would accomplish much if it weren’t for our belief that we can make things always better.  A good part of that belief is based on hope.  As you know by now there are very few sure things in life.  We set goals for ourselves, we start new projects, with the knowledge that these efforts don’t always turn out as we would like.  It doesn’t stop us, though.  Successful people succeed in their undertakings in spite of their own failures and not due to their enjoying an endless winning streak.  Sure, a good deal of their persistence is based on a belief in themselves and a rational evaluation of the fundamentals necessary to achieve their goals but there is always a worthy contribution of hope in the mix.  People take on ambitious challenges knowing full well they can’t control everything.  There are just too many variables in life that are beyond our ability to influence.  Instead of wringing our hands over circumstances beyond our control, we hope for the best.

We aren’t all winners to the degree of people we see in the news that hold flamboyant fortunes in money or who have corralled enormous political power or who are celebrated for their great artistic success.  These people are but a tiny element of all humanity that also strives to do great things, to make a real difference with their lives.  It’s just a fact of life that most of us fall short of attaining our most ambitious dreams.  I count myself among these worthy many.  Am I crushed?  Hardly.  I believe I have benefited greatly from my own efforts, as futile as they may seem to some who have watched me over time.  I have attempted to be the person I believe that I am.  There are many times when I have fallen short of my own standards.  There have also been times when I was surprised at what I was able to accomplish through my own energy, faith in people and, of course, hope.  Hope is provided us all from birth but it isn’t a magic wand.  It doesn't substitute for reasoned judgment, honest effort and the perspective that comes with wisdom.  A project based primarily on hope is little more than the purchase of a lottery ticket.  Certainly we can do better than fervently pray for divine intervention on our behalf.  Blind luck is for those having no other recourse.

The great reward in living our life armed with the belief that all of our actions truly matter is that we find ourselves on a path of real personal growth – a life of heightened awareness.  We decide for ourselves the actions we take and we take ownership of all of our chosen actions.  We are empowered in spirit as we live as actors upon a stage who write their own scripts.  We can, at times, be casual with life but we avoid living absent-minded of whom we are. 

The words I’ve chosen sound burdened with responsibility.  Where is the joy?  Where is the frivolity of love on a spring day?  Can’t we be playful?  Heavens, yes.  Were I a better writer there would have been more emphasis on the joy that comes with experiencing life more fully.  I don’t prescribe a puritanical regimen of work and duty.  I only want to pass along my personal thoughts on the importance of being authentic to oneself.  I believe my own greatest failings occurred when I attempted to become someone I wasn’t meant to be.  Where was my inner compass?  I made decisions based originally on guesswork.  Then I made decisions to cover for my own previously bad decisions.  I fought myself into a corner.  I faked a role I couldn’t live.  I don’t like the thought but maybe I’m a wolf that tried to live in a manger.  That’s a topic for another time.

You’re a terrific person, Jacob.  Be always who you are.  There is no greater reward for you.


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