Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wondering What We Want

"Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need."

The story goes that three eminent and successful people were questioned about what each would most like to hear their family say about them at their respective funerals.
The first said, "I would like to hear them all say that I helped a lot of people and achieved my life's ambitions."
The second said, "I want to hear them say that I made a great difference in the world."
The third was silent for a moment before he declared, "I would really like to hear them say, 'look! He's moving!'

Setting aside the fact that it is a joke and not at all to be taken literally, I mention it today because it put me in mind of ambition and the ever-present question of what we might want from life. We all have different priorities and varied visions of success that separate us from each other.
I fear, sometimes, that Spouse and I are being observed and listened to, and at very close range. How else would one explain Spouse's great ideas, projects and mental inventions heart-dashingly appearing on the cover of suitably geeky magazines a mere few months after Spouse spoke aloud about a vague idea? A good deal of the cause lies not in our being secretly recorded, but in the fact that we simply do not know what to do with our ideas, whether they be in technical or writing adventuring. The ideas might be decent ones but we are in dire need of more than thoughts: we need motivation, a real and actual plan that transposes into a physical project, and an unnamed something that burns us just enough to keep us endeavouring.
I think from time to time about the alarming shortage of people we know personally, who have set out to do what they always wanted to do, and are actually happy. There is but one life for each of us, and we ought to make the most, and the best, out of it. I certainly do not wish to be the wise-cracking joker who can think of nothing but a humourous punchline when asked about what they wanted from life.

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