The Wand Position

The Wand Position
Often Used for Magic

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Our Most Benevolent Path To The Future?

Recently Steve posted a question in a comment area. I felt this question needed a answer that would address the topic thoroughly and I felt I would share that with you here.

I have touched on this subject before in a previous column on A Mystical Man's World and yet I feel that there is more.

So first I present Steve's question and then the answer which I have to present at this time.

I have a question and don't know if it relates, but I want to ask. It seems to me there are two paths to follow at times.. what we want to do and what we are suited to do (perhaps not what we want to do). The two don't always seem to merge, and following our joy doesn't always seem to apply to either one. I sense ego at work in some wants, but also a genuine enjoyment. And I feel a pull toward discomfort with some things that I am suited to do. I find that I am hung up between what I want and what I feel I should do, and this emerges again and again in life's adventures. What are we to do?
Between the two choices, how are we to know what our most benevolent path to the future truly is?

Steve, thank you for your question. It is very clear and to the point.

This is my feeling. It is easy, I believe, to get caught up in a feeling that if we are suited to do something that that's what we should do and that if we're doing that that we ought to be able to produce very good results.

Here's my suggestion - might it be possible that instead of accomplishing - that we're simply here to learn.

Maybe we're not really here to produce, at least not as much as we have been. Think about our lives - how much we produce on a daily basis.

We produce happiness in others. We might produce confusion and upset in others as well but we learn from that. We produce results from our daily tasks and we may or may not like those results. What I'm saying is that ultimately whatever we do here - we do learn here.

My feeling is that this is a school and that perhaps even if we are suited for something we may not necessarily have to do it. Perhaps we're suited for it because we have a natural talent or natural ability or even an ability that was fostered, nurtured and supported when we were young.

I feel what you're really asking is this: Is it alright to fail at something that no one ever suspected we would do? This is what I'm saying and I grant that it reflects my personal bias and that is - I feel it is perfectly alright to appear to fail, other people might think we're failing miserably, as long as we are doing something that is benevolent for us - meaning there is no great harm though there may be no tangible results.

That's the key - are we learning, yes of course but are we having a good time even if we're hopelessly miserable at it.

Maybe we're very well suited, for example, to work with figures and accounts and business matters but we'd really much rather be a sculptor or a painter or maybe we're attracted to the professional craft world - such as to be a builder or a housepainter. We may be terrible at it but we love every moment of doing it.

Granted we may not be able to do it professionally but we might very well be able to do it in a way that makes us happy. So even if other people don't hire us to paint their houses and even if our neighbors think that we're making a spectacle of ourselves painting our houses and even if they think that our house color could have been more wisely chosen - are we having a good time.

I think it's important to consider - is it really acceptable to be doing something that allows us to have a good time.

I grant that it is my intention to encourage benevolence but I also feel that within that benevolence it is alright to have a good time.

Thank you for your question my friend. Goodlife.


Kirsten said...

This is excellent, Robert!

This is so very intelligent. It's showing me, once again, that I tend to place talent & ability way above happiness & having fun. Oh my.

Thank you for your wisdom,

Robert Shapiro said...

Kirsten, thank you for your comment. It was generous and wise of you to see that the point of the column is that happiness and its pursuit need not be only a afterthought of our long and difficult time of work or struggle.

It is even written into our most treasured documents as a country isn't it, that the pursuit of happiness is an actual right. Granted it isn't explicit in how we would pursue that but then there is a certain suggestion even now that we have the freedom to pursue it.

Of course I would prefer that we all pursue it in some benevolent way but I grant that sometimes benevolence can have a broad definition.

Thank you for seeing clearly what this column was all about. Goodlife to you my friend.

Margie said...

You are so wise... and I learn so much from you!
The key to my life is finding the joy in every single little moment...
Thank you for all you are and all you share with us here!
You are a blessing!

Robert Shapiro said...

Margie, thank you for your kind comment. I appreciate your wisdom as well. It takes a particular kind of wisdom to be cheerful in the face of all evidence to the contrary in our society.

I know that with your particular kind of cheerfulness it is possible to not only be brave but to emanate bravery in such a way that it is decidedly catching and I have seen from your blog that we are all catching it and I would have to say to that - thank you my friend.


Margie said...

Thank you for those kind and thoughtful words!
They mean so much!

Steve said...

I've given your response much consideration as I tend to do. I found it enlightening, challenging and opening. I appreciate your words of support, encouragement and guidance. Best to you Robert!

Robert Shapiro said...

Thank you Steve for your comment. I appreciate.