Thursday, 1 September 2011

With your heart as a compass on your way, you’ll never go astray.

A few thoughts to expand on Lesson 4 from the Way of the showman: “The Showman reminds us of the inherent folly of all human endeavor.”
Look around and take in all the bizarre stuff we humans do. Most are consumed with their own peculiar endeavors. But not everyone has found their passion.
I had a chat to a fellow carny last night about retirement, which I find a strange concept. Why would stopping work be a good thing? If I had to stop talking, thinking, and doing shows it would feel like a punishment. I guess the answer is simple enough; a lot of people don’t like what they do. What they do for work they do because they have to. In this case retirement is the time where you can finally stop going to the factory or the office and just do whatever you want. This is the reality for many people.
As the Illuminated Showman Tom Waits said: “We are all gonna be dirt in the ground,” so what ever house of cards we’ve built will fall and crumble when the wind of life leaves. This is the inherent folly of all human endeavors. Pictured by a clown spending his fifteen minutes of fame in the spotlight, struggling to do something that in the end turns out to be a joke, pointless but fun.
So why do anything at all when it is all going to end? I think when you find what you love, not doing it because its going to end at some point in the future would feel worse than doing it and enjoying it along the way. Lets face it, if you have fun, live a rich life imbued with activities that feels meaningful to you and to those who share them with you, what more can we ask for? Meaning comes from you.
With no one else to tell us what the right thing to do is its best to follow your heart. If it feels right, do it. This is of course easier said than done. There is a lot of noise in the world and the heart’s voice is merely a whisper. But if you start listening for it, its in there somewhere. Whether we live only once, or some omnipotent agent in a world beyond placed us here for some reason or the other, we should make the most of the time given to us (thank you Tolkien.) Don’t wait till you’re retired, do it now.
You create your own reality, so make it a good one. 

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