Day Twenty Three
“… For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars or studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.”
-John de Lancie as Q
Some of the most impactful moments that I’ve had as a person have come from being able to ask the right questions. Questions mark the beginning of wisdom.
Sure, I’m quite positive that we can think of some questions that would make the pursuit of life a lot easier but as they say, “Nothing easy is worth having and nothing worth having is easy.” This leads me to believe that going on a journey that makes you look inside yourself and seek those answers is part of what may define our place in the universe.
One of the hardest things for me to accept was that there are times when you can use conventional thinking and there are times when you have to use unconventional or unpopular thinking. There’s merit for both sides. There’s nothing wrong with using the reasoning that is tried and true to arrive at solutions for any issue. However, there’s much to be said about the path not taken.
I’ve been let down so many times by conventional thinking and mainstream wisdom. Furthermore, I refuse to take the “just because” justification. If they didn’t know why things were the way they were, a simple “I don’t know” would have sufficed. But, since we honestly don’t like to explain ourselves, it makes arriving at the truth a much more painstaking process. Even then, we would probably get the runaround. Or, so it would appear.
I love answering questions with questions. Not because it’s infuriating to some but because it actually makes you take a deeper look at what it all means. Not all questions are meant to be answered definitively. Some questions have answers that are unique to the person being asked. Those are the questions that we shy away from asking. It’s important to know why asking the “right” questions plays such a pivotal role in self-discovery. Sure, we can respond to whatever questions we like and be honest but the ones that force you to see beyond the superficial and delve into the tapestry of your life are the ones that encourage growth.
It sounds cliché but it’s without a doubt important to do new things. New things expand our horizons and create new opportunity. We can’t do new things without expanding our skills. It’s foolish to think that the skills that are present would be sufficient in a new line of vocation. It’s a big reason why that training is required. We have to train ourselves to be open to new things and consequently all of the knowledge and experience that may come with it. Nobody got anywhere doing the same things over and over again. So, one of the “right’ questions that I needed to ask was “Why is doing new things so important?”
For starters, this book is important to me. I’ve written a short story or two but a book requires a lot of something I had been lacking lately: commitment. One of the “new things” I had to learn was what it really meant to commit to something. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something. It’s quite another to actually hold yourself accountable and have the conviction to follow through. It’s been tough to adopt the necessary level of control. However, like almost everything, it is a process to get from where you were to reach the level of competence required.
We all like to see things for what they are. Honestly, it’s hard not to. We’re conditioned to take what we see and act accordingly. For example, if we see our cellular phone battery going dead, we charge it. Or, if we see a fly buzzing around our area, we take a swipe at it. Granted, these things may be prudent and necessary; however, these things aren’t always as they appear to be. A dying battery can be an opportunity to detach from the influence that it exerts on you. The majority of the populous, myself among them, would take any and every effort to remain connected. A dead battery doesn’t mean you’re disconnected from those around you. It offers you a chance to reconnect with the things that it separates you from and allows you to live your own life. We find that we vicariously live out our own days through social media in this day and age. We are more interconnected than ever with the Internet being easily accessible. But, along with that interconnectivity, there’s a developing interdependence on that connectivity. As someone who spends a lot of time on Facebook, I feel like I’m qualified to say that this can be a problem.
But, the above really is just a smaller rant about a much bigger problem. It’s so hard to see people and things for what they’re not. A homeless person may be in dire straits but they’re still human. They have needs and they deserve some dignity and respect. Just because they are not as well taken care of as you or me, that lack of care does not make them any less who they are. We are just so eager to take the things we see for face value and not have any vision as to if there is anything else. It’s a hard habit to break considering what our world is based on. It’s by no means easy to do either.
But, it doesn’t offer a different way of perceiving everything around you when you can see past the apparent and make a contrast in differing circumstances and points of view. They say that the truth is somewhere in the many points of view that can be introduced to a situation and I agree with that assessment. I don’t believe that just because you offer something different that immediately makes it wrong. I don’t believe that just because you don’t agree that makes you right. There’s nothing combative about having a difference of opinion. It’s combative when that difference of opinion is used to create a means to oppress each other. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. But, as long as we continue to see a difference of opinion as that kind of resource, it won’t ever become something different.
Much like we have to see ourselves differently as well as others to offer them that opportunity to become something different as well. It’s an ongoing evolution of who we are versus the person we can be.